At the beginning of last month, I was having supper with some of the Bible school students in the program I work with. Also at the table was a guy I hadn’t met before, who we’ll call Mehmet. Mehmet is the Muslim cousin of Hamid, who is one of the students in our ministry training program, a good friend of mine, and a refugee himself, having fled his home country of Iran for religious persecution.
While we’re eating, Hamid tells me that Mehmet is in town trying to work out something having to do with perusing refugee status. We talk about that a little, and Hamid asks if I would pray for his cousin for that after we finish eating, to which I reply, “Of course!”. After finishing eating, we start to clean up, and we decide that it’s a good time to pray, so I ask if I can pray for Mehmet, which he agrees to. I quickly pray for him, asking Holy Spirit to come, touch him, work in him, give him peace, and to work through everything that’s going on with this paperwork. After I finished praying, Hamid thanks me, and tells me that if God gives me any word to share with Mehmet, that he could translate it into Farsi for me. (Mehmet only speaks Farsi, but Hamid speaks Farsi and the local language I’ve been learning). At that time, I didn’t feel like I had any word of encouragement or prophetic word for him, so I told Hamid that I didn’t have anything for him at the moment. However, as I said that, I felt Holy Spirit telling me that Mehmet had some pain in his knee. So I asked, “Does he have any pain in his knee?” [they talk in Farsi] “Yeah! He does.”
“Ok, cool”, I said, “Watch!” So, I bent down, and we prayed for his knee. After, I motioned for him try it out to see how it is. Hamid asked him, “How is it now?” Mehmet moves his knee around a bit, and his jaw DROPS. He moves his knee around more, and has a look of absolute shock on his face. He tells us that there is absolutely no pain in his knee! In fact, he feels heat in his chest, and his knee feels really light and warm. He and Hamid talk back and forward in Farsi for a bit, and Hamid explains to me that apparently Mehmet had injured his knee playing sports when he was 6 years old and there had been a constant pain to various extents since that time. I explained that it was Jesus that healed his knee, and that Jesus did it because He loves Mehmet. Excitement and shock gave way to a somberness, as Mehmet lowered his head. Apparently, Mehmet had been reading the Bible for several months, and had been asking questions about Christianity, but had always seen the divinity of Christ as something he couldn’t accept, so he had chosen not to believe any of it and remain Muslim. So, we continued explaining to him, “In the Lord’s prayer, it says, ‘Our Father… let your Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven…’ Mehmet, that’s what just happened to your knee. Jesus came, and brought his Kingdom into your knee, and healed that injury you’ve had for most of your life. Jesus wants to do that to the rest of you. To bring His Kingdom and His Spirit into you and to live in and through you. He wants to take your sin and give you righteousness.” There was several moments of silence, and eventually, with tears, he asked, “How do I do that?” We replied, “Give your life to Him. Ask Him to take away your sin and fill you with His righteousness and His Spirit. And He will do that.”
He replies, “I want to do that!”, so Hamid and I say, “Ok, let’s do it!”.
Then, right there in the kitchen, Mehmet gave his life to Jesus.
We talked more later, and I found out more of Mehmet’s story, which made what happened all the more amazing for me. As it turns out, Hamid (who has himself only been a believer for about a year and a half) had shared the gospel with Mehmet several times over the course of the preceding few months, but Mehmet just wasn’t interested. He would ask questions, and he was reading the New Testament, but was very skeptical. However, one night while he was sleeping, this shining figure, who he realized was Jesus, came to him in a dream and said, “Come, give me your life, and follow me. Stop sinning and live a righteous life.” He woke up from that dream, and still doesn’t believe and doesn’t give his life to Jesus. So, when his knee got healed, and he physically experienced the fire and love of God in his body, he finally gave in to the One who had been pursuing him for months, and gave his life to Jesus.
The next day we had a chance to talk more. He told me that after everything quieted down that night, he went back to his room and started reading the Bible again.
“Before last night,” he told me, “the Bible was just like any other book to me. I would read it, and it was just information on a page. Last night, though, something changed. Reading the Bible was completely different. I opened it up, read a verse, and ended up just reading and re-reading the same verses over and over and over again. It was like it was alive and speaking to me!”
We explained that it was Holy Spirit teaching him. Jesus said in John 14-16 that he was sending His Spirit to be a teacher and comforter for us, and that He would speak to us and teach us, and show us all these things that the Father wants to show and teach us. Mehmet smiled, and replied, “Yeah! I know! It’s awesome!! :D”
The next day, Mehmet’s visit to our city was over and he left. He doesn’t have a phone, email, or any way to contact him, so we haven’t been able to hear from him for a while now, but Hamid has been able to talk to people who have seen him. All of those people have been saying the same thing: “We don’t know how, but when Mehmet went to visit Hamid, something happened to Mehmet. Now he’s always talking about Jesus and telling us that he believes Jesus has done all these things for him. We don’t know what to do with him now…”