A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF HOPEBy Pamela Rae Schuffert presenting investigative journalism from a Biblical Christian perspective-
Once again, it was Christmas season in the Washington DC area, where I used to live near for many years. Everywhere I looked, bright Christmas lights and decorations covered nearly everything, from street lights to the huge Christmas tree on the Ellipse near the White House.
For me, this was a season to take the time especially to show forth the love of Jesus to the international community found throughout the Washington DC metropolitan region. You can never spread the message of God's love to the world, without sharing sharing that rich love and compassion in practical ways that touch hearts and lives. LOVE always means ACTION for the Christian disciple who truly wants to change the world for Jesus.
So many people come from distant countries throughout the world, to make Washington DC their home. Restaurants there cater to everything from Middle Eastern cuisine, to Chinese and Asian, to Latin American specialities, and so much more.
Washington DC is also known for her many political and religious refugees as well. When Russia invaded Afghanistan several decades ago, the streets of DC were later filled with the kiosks of many Afghani refugees selling their wares imported from Afghanistan. The same was true for other nationalities as well.
How I loved to walk down those crowded streets of Washington DC, where you could find many international vendors selling their products. Having trained to be a Christian missionary especially to foreign peoples, I loved learning foreign languages and being able to speak at least a few words to these people in their native dialects or languages at times.
This finally led to my purchasing foreign Bibles in many languages from the International Bible Society. I soon had Bibles in Russian and Romanian, Farsi (Persian) and Dari, plus many other languages as well. These were all to be handed out freely to the internationals I would inevitably encounter as I walked down the crowded sidewalks in the parts of DC that were known to have many nationalities present at times.
Foreign vendors would often be seen in such high end neighborhoods, selling exquisitely beautiful products hand crafted in their native countries at the tables or booths they were permitted to set up daily therein.
In the back seat of my car there was always a selection of Bibles in many languages, ready to give away to the people I encountered at such times.
Christmastime in GeorgetownI can never forget that very special Christmas season one year, as I slowly drove down the brightly decorated streets of Georgetown in Washington DC. Christmas lights were everywhere, and the air was crisp and cold that night, combined with a faint dampness associated with this historic city located on the C AND O CANAL and the Potomac River as well.
All of a sudden, I noticed a man standing by his table, apparently selling bouquets of roses. He did not appear to be an American, but rather more like a person from the Middle East. Great! If that was the case, I had Bibles in Arabic and Persian in the back of my car!
I quickly pulled over to the curb and parked my car, shoving a few quarters into the parking meter. I then slowly walked over to this man and asked him about what he was selling. I noted a look of sadness in his eyes that evening as I spoke to him.
Sensing that I was more than just another customer here to buy his roses, he looked into my eyes and slowly began to pour out his heart to me about why he now lived in America, and what was happening back in his country, Iran, ever since the Ayatollah Khomeini had seized power with his Revolutionary Guards, and began to brutally impose Islamic Sharia law upon the Iranian people.
I was shocked at what I was being told. The US media never really told us what really happened after Khomeini seized power in Iran, and the Shah was ousted. For many, life became miserable as former liberties and freedoms were abolished, as the people were forced to conform to strict Islamic law, or pay the dread price.
All opposition to Khomeini and the regime under Sharia law were arrested and taken away to be brutally imprisoned, tortured and executed in places like grim Evin Prison.
Dread Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran
This man began to tell me of his family members being arrested by the secret police, and taken away to places like EVIN PRISON to be tortured and beaten for minor infractions against Sharia law.
He actually had a scrapbook on his table that he began to show me, filled with photos of people who had been brutally beaten, tortured and abused under Islamic law in Iran. The photographs of the injured and those who had suffered under Khomeini were frightening and very disturbing.
Prisoners beaten with cable on their bare feet, then forced to walk on those broken feet afterwards.
Revolutionary Guards in Iran
As I listened and looked into his eyes, now glistening with tears about to fall, I sensed that he too had suffered under the scourge and curse of brutal and militant Islam. That was why, in fact, he now lived in America instead of Iran.
My heart was profoundly moved. Praying within for the right words, I carefully began to share with him about what Jesus Christ had done for my life when everything seemed hopeless.
I too had been horribly abused and scarred by a brutal and unbelieving father in my very own home throughout the years. A father who at one time even beat me with a sword from a collection in our Northern Virginia home. And whose hatred and cruelty towards me would cause me to literally shake with fear in his presence at times even in spite of my being very ill throughout my high school years.
Jesus always reaches out to the suffering
But that is exactly where Jesus Christ encountered me! Jesus found me rejected, bruised and beaten down and ready to die. And then, His tender mercy and love lifted me up out of rejection and abuse and sadness.
His love and compassion ministered restoration and healing to me as I received Him into my heart as my Lord and Savior in 1971. And finally, my life began to gloriously change at last, as God's grace and mercy began to transform me from victim to victor and overcomer through Jesus Christ.
The HOLY BIBLE in Farsi
I then remembered that I had ONE IRANIAN BIBLE in the back seat of my car! Excusing myself, I ran to my car and grabbed it and brought it to give to him.
As I shared with this Iranian about the love of God through Jesus Christ and how He could change this man's life and heal him of the past, I witnessed something I was totally unprepared for. I handed him the Bible in his language, and then.....
Tears began to flow from this man's eyes as he began to cry unashamedly on that sidewalk in Georgetown. He then collapsed on his knees and put his arms around my legs and began to weep uncontrollably.
Jesus will always be there for us when we stumble and fall
I was stunned, uncertain of what to do, as he embraced the Bible tightly, and began to kiss it, and then kiss my hand that handed it to him. In years of ministry, this had never happened before. In broken English he spoke the following words as he wept.
"Yes...YES! ISA (Jesus) is good! The religion of Muhammad is no good...but ISA...Jesus...HE IS GOOD!"
I was truly overwhelmed by all this. Apparently this Christian Bible meant more to him than it does to most Americans living in freedom today.
When he finally was able to stop weeping and regained his composure, I was then able to pray with this Iranian man for Jesus Christ to truly come in to his heart, forgive his sins, set him free from the cruel bondage and deception of Islam, and to give him a new life free from the past injustices of Islam.
Knees that had once bowed to the god of Mohammad, were now bowing to his new and wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
He had learned through his painful personal experience in Iran that life under Islam and militant Sharia law was never the way to peace, fulfillment, joy and eternal life.
Rather, he discovered firsthand that Islam brought oppression, bondage, hardships and darkness to the people of his nation, Iran. And for this man, Jesus Christ alone provided the love, the mercy, the healing and compassion that he so desperately needed in his hour of pain and sadness.
We continued to talk briefly as the sun finally set over Washington DC. After a final embrace, it was time to leave. The streets were now dark, except for the occasional twinkling of countless Christmas decorations that seemed to herald the wondrous story of how God sent His Son into the darkness of this world to redeem all mankind from sin.
Christmas in Georgetown
I slowly walked back to my car and sat down, amazed at what I had just witnessed. My head was spinning, overwhelmed at how God knew exactly how to lead me to that one person He wanted me to reach out to that night. Oh, how beautiful and amazing are the incredible ways of our Living God!
Looking back at the Iranian rose vendor one more time as I slowly drove away, I observed how this man held the Christian Bible so closely to his heart.
This was a lesson I would never forget throughout the many years of my Christian ministry.
For here was a man formerly of Islamic background, who had lived in Iran and had experienced first hand the cruelties and numerous injustices of life under militant Islam and Sharia. And from his own lips he declared with tears in his eyes, that Islam and other religions did nothing for him...but that JESUS CHRIST WAS GOOD!
These were the very words of a former Moslem who discovered personally that there is nothing but heartache and darkness without Jesus Christ, and who could find no peace or healing in his former religion of Islam under Sharia.
What a powerful testimony this was to me! This one Iranian man's testimony puts to shame the reasoning of western analysts and those in America who are foolishly trying to oppress Christianity, and instead push for Islamic law to be subtly and gradually imposed throughout our nation.
Can we not learn from first-hand experiences such as this???
CONFRONTING THE RISING DANGERS OF ISLAM IN AMERICA TODAY
Yes, Jesus Christ IS good! So good, in fact, that this Iranian man did what few men ever do in public, and that was to weep over the goodness of the living God through Jesus Christ, and to be so thankful for the hope that the Christian Bible provides for all mankind...Moslems included.
While my readers can sense, through reading my previous articles, that I am justifiably concerned over the dark inroads Islam is attempting to make throughout my nation, America, and am therefore writing articles addressing this issue, I also want to make it plain that HEREIN is the eternal answer to the problem of the cult religion of Islam: JESUS CHRIST!
Bring the light of salvation to a Moslem, and their lives will be transformed from darkness into light as the behold the power of Jesus Christ changing them from within. Such transformed people can never again pick up a sword of persecution against Jesus and His people!
This is exactly why Jesus has commanded us to show mercy and forgiveness to our enemies, and to bring His word to them as well. Islam as a dangerous cult religion will never be eradicated from the world through ceaseless wars of retaliation and hatred and revenge.
But rather, the deadly cult of Islam can only be overcome by the light of the world, Jesus Christ, Who IS good and Who alone can provide salvation for millions of lost souls deceived by the heresies of Islam, and walking in darkness worldwide.
Jesus Christ remains the LIGHT OF THE WORLD!
Only the light can eradicate the darkness! The Bible tells us to overcome evil with GOOD. And what could be more good and wonderful than giving a Bible to a Moslem in your vicinity, including sharing your sincere testimony with that lost soul, and praying for that person to find salvation through Jesus Christ at last???
This was God's way of reaching each one of us when we were lost sinners and headed to hell, and this is how we can also reach out to the lost in our world today, and change the world through Jesus Christ. This is what the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ tell us.
And now, it is time to put such teachings into action throughout our nation, America, today.
American cannot be saved nor transformed, without the SAVING POWER of God through Jesus Christ. Why? Because a NATION consists of her PEOPLE. America is chiefly dying from SIN WITHIN, more than from the enemy without. As the well known cartoon character of yesteryear, Pogo, once famously (and truthfully) declared, "We have met the enemy, and HE IS US!"
Pogo got it right!
In closing, I encourage you to become a part of God's answer to the problems in America today. Sitting around complaining about America's problems will never change this nation. BUT, Christian actions of faith and obedience, based on the word of God, have the power to dramatically CHANGE AMERICA.
I also urge you to resist the natural urge to be filled with animosity or anger towards the Moslems in America today. Of course I am aware and alarmed over the subtle introduction of Islamic teaching into the schools of America, and the conquest of Islam for America.
Of course I am aware that we have a Moslem President who is facilitating Islamic inroads into America. I realize what the goals of Islam are for America and the world, and that is total domination. And with that quest for domination will also come brutal oppression of Christianity as well.
But we must realize that the only way Moslems will truly change, is when the light of Jesus Christ fills them. And this can only happen as we share the Good News of Jesus Christ with such people. It is a matter of transforming the heart within. And guns, bullets, bombs and warfare cannot change the heart. Only Jesus Christ can.
PRAY for the salvation of these Islamic people. Obtain Bibles in their languages and freely offer them to those you meet or know. Spend time behind the scenes praying for their salvation. Take the time to lovingly and respectfully share your testimony about what Jesus Christ has done for your life, and what He can do for theirs as well.
This is clearly Christ's way of winning this battle against Islam, eternally...one lost soul at a time. The moment we choose to turn to the world's ways of winning wars, through the use of hatred and violence and destruction of men's lives, we have become no better than they, and we have then fallen from the faith and the clear revelations of Jesus Christ our Savior.
God's way, or the world's way...what shall it be?
But the only way to truly win a battle eternally, is to fight it with the weapons of faith and the Word of God that Jesus Christ has given us. And Heaven rejoices over one more soul being saved from the soul-damning cult called ISLAM, all because of our faithful witness of Jesus Christ to them.
Please, my fellow Christians, choose to make a difference, as the emerging battle of ISLAM CONFRONTING CHRISTIANITY continues throughout our nation unabated.
And remember the lesson learned from THE IRANIAN ROSE SELLER WHO FOUND JESUS CHRIST. We all have a vital role to play in reaching out to people across America with the light of the Gospel. And YOU can make the difference!
-Pamela Rae Schuffert-