Fear Not You Are Mine - By Massry

FEAR NOT YOU ARE MINE By Massry

I was born in an average Muslim family in Egypt. None of my immediate family members were religious fanatics. But one of my distant relatives, a Sheik, who happened to be a prominent leader in the infamous Islamic brotherhood group, was released from prison after serving three years in connection with the assassination of the former Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat. Soon after when we were visited by this Sheik, he invited me to go with him for prayer in a nearby humble mosque. There he introduced me to a prominent member of the group named Ali (not his real name). I started going to that mosque regularly on daily bases. Later on I was invited to Ali¶s wedding where I met the great leader of the group, believed to be Sheik Omar Abd El Rahman who is now imprisoned in the United States in connection with the World Trade Center bombing in New York City. Although that leader, called µThe Doctor¶, was blind, he possessed a tremendous personal characteristic that makes you feel he can see through you. µThe Doctor¶ asked me to accompany him, because all the group members who used to follow, him got arrested for terrorist connected activities (They assisted him by reading for him and by leading him). During the summer of that year the group sent me to an allegedly religious camp in the city of Asuit, 230 miles south of Cairo. At the camp I discovered that the activities included shooting, making bombs, planting and dissenting explosives. These things shocked me so much that I couldn¶t take it. When I first thought about the situation, I thought that this group misinterpreted the teaching of Islam and mixed religion with politics as we used to hear from the state media in Egypt. So I decided to study the Quran and the Prophet¶s sayings µHADEETH¶. It took me 9 months to conduct my study, and the outcome confirmed that all the group¶s activities complied with the teachings of Islam. This shocked me and completely destroyed my spiritual beliefs So I left everything including my religion and became completely atheist. I used to think God existed but that we didn¶t need him. During that time I had a Christian friend who was thinking of converting to Islam. I used to accuse him of being stupid enough to convert from Christianity, a religion that fooled him, to Islam, a religion that fooled the whole world. Out of curiosity, I stole a bible from that friend¶s house to read it. I started reading the book of The Song of Songs, and the elevated poetic language amazed me. But I couldn¶t understand its religious interpretations. At that time I started taking drugs and my life was rapidly deteriorating, then one day I had a toothache and I had to go to a dentist who happened to be communist, but he didn¶t treat me because he was busy. Instead he referred me to a born again Christian doctor. When I met this doctor I felt very comfortable dealing and talking with him. Whenever I felt down and needed someone to talk to, I used to visit his office pretending to have a toothache.

He pleaded with me to stop taking drugs even for a week so he could treat my toothache. When I listened to his advice and stopped taking drugs for one week, the truth of my wrecked and meaningless life just materialized suddenly in front of me. I rushed into that dentist¶s office completely destroyed and hopeless. When he saw me in this miserable condition, he apologized to his patients and closed his office to stay with me till the early morning hours of the next day. Although I don¶t remember one word of what we discussed that night, I remember that I finally found someone who was willing to listen and love other people without logical reasons. A few days later I asked the dentist for a bible although I already had one, because I was hoping that he would explain the bible to me. Instead he advised me to go to a certain Christian minister whom he described as an expert in comparative religion, Christianity and Islam. Despite the fact that I was reluctant to deal with any religious men based upon my previous experience, I went to the church to meet that minister. In the olden days they said that curiosity killed the cat, but in my case it gave him life! I started meeting with ministers from that church for weeks, discussing the authenticity of the Christian belief and how God gave us free will even though he knows that we may make wrong decisions etc. I was invited by the church to a Christian conference, there, I saw people living in a way I have never seen before, and bit by bit I started to believe in the principles of Christianity that I previously thought were a myth. Later on I asked one of the ministers to pray with me to accept the Lord Jesus into my heart, because I believed that I had to do this without being under any emotional influence. When I prayed, I felt the awesome presence of the lord in the room with me right there and then! But my physical ordeal was far from over. My father, who is still Muslim, realized that I converted to Christianity. He went over to my place and collected all my Christian books while I was away serving in the army and gave them to the police. (Converting from Islam is a crime punishable by death in any Islamic country). I was arrested and interrogated by the state police in Egypt but was later released. I finished my army service and went to work in the private sector but I felt that this is not what I wanted to do. So I quit my job and devoted myself to the ministry of The Lord who loved me and died for me. Later on I was arrested again and imprisoned for almost a year for preaching the word of God. Not long after I was released, I found the woman the Lord prepared for me and we got married. Now I am finishing my theological school in preparation for my ministry among my brothers in flesh in Egypt. Translated by john

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