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Leila: An Egyptian Kid of Courage


Leila was the oldest of four sisters in an Egyptian family. Her father was a strict Muslim who went to the mosque to pray five times every day. Her mother was a Muslim, too, but was not as strict in following Muslim practices.

Leila told about fasting from dawn to dusk during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan: “When I was 7 years old, my dad encouraged me to fast the whole month of Ramadan. Then he told me that one of the Hadiths [traditions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam] says: ‘Teach them till the age of 7, and beat them till the age of 10.’ I managed to fast the whole month.”

Leila was taught that Christians were not worthy of her friendship. However, at school she met a kind Christian girl named Marcella. Leila said: “Our simple, lovely friendship grew. One day Marcella was looking for something in her bag, so she put all her books on the table. I picked up her Bible. As I scanned the pages, my eyes fell on the words, ‘Jesus of Nazareth went around doing good.’ I asked her who Jesus was. It was the first time I had heard His name.”

Marcella politely answered Leila’s question, and Leila’s curiosity about Jesus grew. Leila continued her story:

“I asked my father to get me a Bible and I told him why. You can never imagine what happened! A tremendous outburst of anger erupted at our home. My father made my face black and blue. I cried, regretting what I had done, and repented. However, before long, the same desire came back.”

When Leila asked questions at school about Muhammad’s teachings, the teacher slapped her. She tried harder to follow Muslim customs to please her father. But she felt that her Muslim prayers did not bring answers, help, or hope.

Leila’s father did not allow her to go to high school, so after a while she got a job. Her new boss said he was Christian. But he was afraid to answer her questions about Jesus, and he did not share his faith.

Leila began to read the Quran (the Muslim holy book) to seek answers. She said it “increased her doubts and worries.”

Then she said: “After a month of sleepless nights, of weeping and crying, I got tired of thinking. I then went back to reading the Quran, which left me more bewildered and confused. So I decided to read the Bible that I might find the truth.

“I discovered Jesus, the name I had heard about long ago. On that day I said to Jesus, ‘Jesus, You are my God and my Savior. You are everything to me in life.’ He took away all my heavy loads that burdened my back.”

Leila began a new life in Christ. She also faced continued struggles and persecutions. But now she faces them with a new friend, Jesus, by her side. “For the first time in my life, I feel that I am a real person, really beloved,” Leila said.

Please pray Leila will continue to face her struggles with courage. Pray, also, for Muslims in Egypt who are still seeking Jesus.

(Source: Into the Den of Infidels)