Home General News ‘I hadn’t seen the Bible or heard the gospel, but God wrought a miracle in my heart’

‘I hadn’t seen the Bible or heard the gospel, but God wrought a miracle in my heart’

by ervte

“I grew up in a high mountain village in the Caucasus, South Russia. It was an Islamic area. I was a devout Muslim, although I wore no head covering. I would fast and pray and listen to Islamic preaching. They said you would go to hell if you didn’t follow the Islamic teachings,

I remember thinking I didn’t want to go to hell. I liked the path that led to heaven. I asked old ladies to teach me, and I wrote Arabic prayers. But it never took away the fear of hell. I tried to console myself with reasons why I would go to heaven, but I was not peaceful or free. Islamic teachings do not ensure heaven.'I hadn't seen the Bible or heard the gospel, but God wrought a miracle in my heart'

After school, I went to university and studied linguistics. There was a medley of people. I met a girl from Ukraine who was a Christian. She would walk around and listen to worship songs in Russian on a tape. I liked them a lot. But the words of the song called Jesus didn’t feel right. I said, “Can you give me some of those beautiful songs without the name Jesus?”

She did, and I enjoyed it. But inside, I felt bad because I was listening to songs about Jesus. I prayed to Allah and said sorry. One day, while I was praying, the presence came. The whole room was filled with his company, and so was my inside. I couldn’t see anyone, but I knew someone was there. It shook me. I said, “Who’s there?”

Then a voice said, “Jesus” in Russian. I couldn’t possibly make up that word. It wasn’t even my language. So I prayed an Arabic prayer to get rid of the demons. But as I prayed, I knew it wouldn’t work on him, on Jesus. Even as I said the prayer, I knew I didn’t want Jesus to go. I kept praying on my carpet, and the presentation was as strong as before.

That night I couldn’t sleep. I sat on the bed and said, “I need my rest. Allah, if you are the real one, please stop this. Jesus, if you’re the real one, do something.” Then I immediately fell asleep.

I woke up at 6 am at Islamic prayer time but didn’t want to pray to Allah. I wanted to talk to a Christian, so I went to a small house church. I spoke to a man and his wife about what had happened. Years later, they told me I was talking to them from the Bible. I said to them that Jesus died on the cross for me and that I wanted to repent and believe. I don’t remember saying that. I didn’t even know that then! I hadn’t seen a Bible or heard the gospel. The couple gave me a Bible, and I started reading it. God worked a miracle in my heart. It is God who is amazing. From that moment on, I became a Christian.

I was living with my sister at the time. I hadn’t realized the consequences. I had found the truth! I told my sisters that I had found something wonderful. One said, “You’ll realize what that means when I tell our parents. People like you should be killed.”

I started reading my Bible and praying while hiding in the toilet. I loved the bathroom. It’s funny because, as a Muslim, the toilet is unclean, but as a Christian, it became my safe place. They couldn’t find me there. I finished college, and my sister told my parents. They were so angry. They planned to put me under house arrest and arrange a Muslim marriage.

I kept asking God what to do. It was so intense. Then I read Matthew 19:29: “Whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake shall receive a hundred times as much and inherit eternal life.”

I had a choice. It was a big step, but God showed me the way. I wrote a letter to my family telling them the truth. I believed in Jesus. Then I asked Church members for help. They contacted people in Russia who were working at a theological college. I told God, “If this is your plan, please show it to me.” That evening a student knocked on my door. He shyly gave me some money for the trip. It was enough for a ticket. It was amazing!

I went to Russia and studied at a theological university! Many miracles have happened since then. But the important thing is that God does it. He performs miracles. Even though I was stubbornly stuck in an ideology, Jesus was above it. He spoke to me and set me free. I was not the kind of person who could compare the Bible and the Quran. I didn’t have the intelligence or the interest. But he broke through to my heart. Jesus does that. He ripped me out. I remember the day I suddenly realized that Jesus was Lord. He was God! He was not just a prophet or a historical figure. I understood grace. It was miraculous and immediate! I was on my knees sobbing, remembering how dark and hopeless I had felt before, but now I know grace and feel it in my body. Jesus came. He died for me. He took my sin upon Himself. The burden and fear of hell were gone. I still feel it! I cannot express it in words. But I have been given grace.”

Hadija’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, curated by Naomi Reed. Click here for more faith stories.

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