Sometimes Jesus shows up in the most surprising places, and the results are far bigger than we would ever expect. This is happening over and over in the Middle East, where many Muslims are discovering Jesus. Here’s just one example of the supernatural ways God is calling people into relationship with himself and transforming lives.
Youssef (not his real name), a leader in a prominent Muslim organization, was driving his car around the city one day, just like he did every day. He glanced in the rearview mirror and saw Jesus, sitting in the backseat. It freaked him out! He was badly shaken because he was a very committed leader and a radical Muslim. So he stopped in the middle of the road and turned around to look behind him. Nothing. There was no one in the backseat. This drama continued for a few days. Youssef would unexpectedly see Jesus in his rearview mirror, and not see anything when he looked in the backseat.
These appearances were followed by Jesus showing up in his dreams, telling Youssef to go find a Bible and start reading it. Youssef desperately wanted these appearances and dreams to stop, so he spent a week seeking the advice of religious leaders, asking them what to do. He went various places to be prayed over by religious leaders. But the dreams wouldn’t stop.
Youssef needed to get out of this "trauma"—it was driving him crazy! So he did something bold and daring. He found a Bible and started reading.
Eventually, through reading the Word, Youssef became a passionate follower of Jesus. His conversion created a lot of hype—a prominent Muslim becoming an outspoken follower of Jesus. He was put in prison as a result, placed in solitary confinement. Every single night the guards would see strange lights coming from Youssef’s cell, which should have been dark. Youssef shared that every night in solitary confinement, Jesus would join him in his cell. The same unwanted Visitor who had pursued him as he drove around the city was now a most welcome companion in prison.
Hoping to keep the peace while also keeping Youssef from evangelizing further, powerful men in the government offered him generous amounts of money to leave the country. Youssef absolutely refused. “Jesus saved me here,” he said. “I’m going to stay here.”
When Youssef was finally released from prison, he followed through on his declaration. He has stayed in his home country, sharing about Jesus within his network, and the result so far is that close to a thousand members of the radical organization he was part of have become followers of Christ.
Jesus is going after his own, and we continue to marvel at what he is doing in the Middle East. Join us in praying for this miraculous movement of God!