I was born in Pakistan, in an Islamic family. My parents were very devoted, and they prayed several times a day. We often read Quran together, and my father loved to reflect on the passages from the book. He also ridiculed Christianity (a slowly growing movement in the country), always saying that he couldn’t comprehend how somebody could believe that God had a child.
Why would he need a child? For what reason? We are all his children, aren’t we? Christians are ridiculous.
Since I respected my father, and truly admired him, I agreed with everything he told me. He was the head of the family, and I thought he knew more than anybody else in the world, except of the prophets. I was a Muslim like him and was proud about it. All of this held true until I was 21 years old, traveling with a friend across Pakistan.
A flat tire changed my life
We were riding the motorbikes through the country. We visited some famous spots, but also drove through remote areas, enjoying the beauty of our countryside. On a seventh day of our journey, the heat was unbearable. I can’t remember such a hot day in my entire life. We were in the middle of the road between Dhadar and Mach, and there were absolutely no trees to cover us from the scorching sun. We were looking forward to reaching Mach, so we could find a shelter in the shade and eat something. It was then that my friend got a flat tire. We stopped to repair it.
As he was changing the tire, I was looking for a shade and spotted a temple two hundred meters down the road. I said to my friend:
I go there to take shelter from the sun and wait for you. If you need anything just whistle and I come back to help you with repairing.
My friend agreed and I slowly drove near to the place. To my surprise, the building was a small Christian chapel. I hesitated for a while, but the sun was simply too strong and so I decided to go inside. A crucified Jesus hanged on the wall, and two candles shed some light on the statue.
I sat down on the ground. It was much colder inside, and I found a strange peace sitting in that place. Everything was silent, just the candles slowly burned.
I don’t know why I did so–maybe out of boredom, or following the example of my father–but I started to ridicule Jesus. I laughed, and remembered the words my father used to say. One of the candles suddenly expired. Then I took my speech even further. I told, in a quiet voice:
So if you are the son of God, show me your power! Show me your power, and I promise to follow you for the rest of my life.
It was then that I heard my friend whistle. I laughed one more time, and wanted to stand up and leave the chapel. But I couldn’t. I simply couldn’t stand up! I was chained to the ground, and couldn’t make my legs move. I looked at Jesus, and the candle, the one that expired a minute ago, flashed up again.
I felt a bump in my throat, and couldn’t say a word. My friend whistled again. I still couldn’t move my legs, and started to cry. I apologized to Jesus. I apologized for both me and my father, for every Muslim that ever ridiculed Christianity. I cried, repeating how sorry I was. Suddenly both candles expired, and I could stand up again. I walked out of the place and knew my life would never be the same….
Converting to Christianity, leaving my family
I tell my fried immediately that the journey had finished. I returned home, and said to my father that I had become a Christian. He got totally mad with me, and, after I refused to explain or retreat, he told me to leave the house. And so I did. I left my material comfort, and the safe place. I had no regrets, since I understood some things were way more important than material comfort, and the love of your family.
If they can’t love me as a Christian, they have never truly loved me.
Today I live in the North of Pakistan, in a small community of Christians. Our life is not easy, but we believe in our mission, and know that all earthy sufferings will end one day….