231214 Sga 2023 Sga.org Stories 11 7 Social Post 1 Wordpress Preview 460x460 V1
Jan 23, 2024
Central Asia
Editor’s Note: The following story and image were provided by an SGA team member.
Closer To God

God’s Word transforms us. When Ulvi decided to become a church youth leader, it came as a surprise to those who knew him when he was growing up. He was a student of Islam, but had a change of heart when his studies revealed a path that led to more darkness than light.

The story shared below tells of a young man who found his way to Jesus after seeking forgiveness in his study of the Quran.

If you had told Ulvi’s friends a few years ago that he would be a youth leader as a Christian church, they likely would have thought you were hallucinating. That’s because Ulvi grew up a Muslim attending Muslim madras and studying the Quran. Yet even as a student of Islam, he knew he was a sinful young man and found no reconciliation. He decided that if he studied enough that he would find forgiveness in the reading of the Quran. The more he read the Quran however, he saw so many “bad things” and he knew he couldn’t get closer to God this way. So, he read through it again. This time he was convinced it did not hold the truth and he wasn’t sure he even believed in God. He had nightmares and saw that he was cursed, and the world was also. But he also believed something was calling after him. He had heard about Jesus and then had a dream about him and knew he needed to find a Christian to tell him about Jesus. He knew Hafiz, an SGA-supported missionary pastor in his Central Asian homeland. Hafiz began to explain that Jesus was calling him and Ulvi didn’t understand this, so they continued to visit. A few months later, Hafiz had surgery and Ulvi went to visit him. Ulvi reminded Hafiz of his dreams about the world being cursed, and Hafiz shared the story of Adam and Eve. Ulvi now decided he couldn’t be a Muslim as he considered the wicked things that radical Muslims, do and he didn’t believe the Quran held the truth. So, he continued to meet with Hafiz and he saw truth in what Hafiz shared. Days later, Ulvi knew he found his answers in Jesus and his heart was filled with joy. Hafiz shared the Bible app with him and soon he was sharing this newfound joy with others. After three days with Hafiz, he felt he had answers to his questions and had a big joy in his heart. On his way back home, he was sharing already that Jesus was his Savior! He has had fruit as he shares Jesus, and he believes this is because people are praying.

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