“My husband invited Ahmad over for dinner,” recalls Samya Johnson, cofounder of Call of Love Ministries. While Samya and her husband Mike had a pleasant evening with Ahmad in their Cincinnati home, the young man refused to eat any of the food they placed before him.
“He was afraid we would put poison in the food,” Samya notes. “He was also shocked that I, as a woman, would talk to him.”
Later, as their friendship blossomed, Ahmad prayed to receive Christ with Mike. Ahmad said a huge burden “rolled off his back,” and a peace and joy swept over him. He cried in front of Samya and Mike, overwhelmed by the love he felt from God.
Ahmad wanted to return to visit his family in Mauritania, but he faced a dilemma. He left his country labeled a “revolutionist.” He knew he would be refused entry to Mauritania if he attempted to fly there directly. Instead, he decided to fly into a neighboring country and travel across the border on foot.
As he prepared to leave, he placed a small copy of the New Testament in his pocket. “He knew it would endanger his life if someone found it,” Samya notes.
After a difficult journey over many days, Ahmad finally arrived at his village after nightfall, with his New Testament undiscovered.
First, he visited his Muslim father, but didn’t dare tell him he had become a Christian.
His father had important news. One of their dearest family friends, a neighbor named Yacoub, was seriously ill. In fact, Yacoub had been sick for almost 16 years. But he had taken a downturn, and his daughters informed them he might die within the week.
For almost a month, Yacoub had been telling his daughters, “I will not die before I see the book.” Then three days before Ahmad’s arrival, he started saying, “The book is coming! The book is coming!”
Yacoub’s daughters wondered if he was demented or delusional. Perhaps his mind was failing with the rest of his tired body. Still, they encouraged Ahmad to come by their home to encourage their father, knowing his time might be short.
When Ahmad entered the ailing man’s room, Yacoub sat up in his bed. It was the first time he had raised himself to a sitting position without assistance in many months.
As two men embraced, Yacoub whispered in Ahmad’s ear, “You have the book with you, isn’t that right?”
Ahmad pulled back slightly, then said cautiously, “Do you mean the Quran?”
“No! No! The Holy Book. The Holy Book,” he replied.
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