Zoud grew up in a Muslim country and home, and preferred it stay that way. What he didn’t know was that one day, followers of Jesus would be in a café he was managing and that would start a new chapter in his life. These Jesus followers were led to the Lord by Khafiz, an SGA-supported pastor in Central Asia.
Khafiz is always sharing the Gospel in this country where that comes with great risk, but Khafiz takes this risk because he knows the power of the Gospel. Zoud heard these believers talking about Jesus, and he just wished they would leave his café. Then, over subsequent visits, they invited Zoud to sit and have a conversation with them. Now, Zoud knew Khafiz from his army days and knew these people knew Khafiz, so he agreed to sit down. (And yes, Khafiz led these people to Christ! Now they are working to make disciples.)
In the conversation, they introduced Zoud to Jesus and then the Bible. At the time Zoud was in some financial difficulties, mainly around debt. And in these difficulties, the Bible touched his heart. In this next portion of the story, he offered a smile and then explained. He is an avid basketball player and he had been playing very poorly, and he emphasized “very.” Zoud asked God to help him play better, and that night he played great! Everything he threw up at the hoop went in. “He played like Jordan!” The next day he waited to meet with Khafiz, and he repented! Seven months later, he was baptized.
Now, his vision for life has changed and he sees people differently. He knows he has life eternal and his sins are forgiven. His wife has received Jesus also, and their marriage has never been better— and they pray together. He serves with Khafiz and has made trips with him to serve and share the Gospel.
On the work front, things became hard. The owner of the company where he worked is his sister’s husband. His brothers and sisters are opposed to him and his faith, and to exact punishment they do not give him a day off. They treat him harshly and share nothing but bitterness with him. So, he felt compelled to leave that job as he had no time to fellowship and worship, working seven days a week. He is now doing handyman type work and this has cost his family financially. However, he has the peace of Jesus, and the fellowship of believers!