By Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS — September 14, 2016) — Sameer was born and raised in a fanatic Muslim family. He strictly followed the practices of Islam and prayed five times a day.
Beset by hardships in his life, he prayed a heartfelt prayer one day: “I am facing so many problems in my own personal life and family life. I don’t know how to overcome it. Please hear my prayer, answer me and help me to come out from all my troubles.”
In his late twenties, his problems intensified and he combatted depression. He hated life. He battled insomnia and suicidal thoughts.
Friends supplied him with sedatives, which he crushed and mixed with dagga to smoke in a dagga pipe. The wild dagga leaves are said to have a mild calming effect when smoked. In some users, the effects are similar to marijuana, but it is less potent.
However, it was not enough to cure his insomnia, so he began to inject it. Soon he became a drug addict and alcoholic.
Drugs satisfied him for a short time, but as his tolerance built up he was always looking for his next fix. A life devoted to drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous relationships masked his depression, but deep inside it was still there. A dark cloud followed him wherever he went.
One day Sameer became despondent after a relationship soured with a “vulgar” young woman. Suicidal thoughts overwhelmed him. He found a rope and a tree to hang himself.
Little did he realize the tree was within earshot of an outdoor evangelistic meeting led by Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast.
As Sameer clambered up the tree to tie the rope to hang himself, he heard Pastor Paul preaching this message through a loudspeaker:
“O the man who is going to commit suicide, you don’t have to die, for our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and died for you and will grant you peace and life. He died as a ransom for your sins and was raised from the dead to glorify you as His child. If you believe in Jesus you will be saved from sin, iniquities and all of your problems.”
The message pierced his heart. Curious, wanting to know more, he climbed down from the tree and walked toward the meeting.
People who knew about Sameer’s reputation were afraid when they saw him. They knew him to be a fanatic Muslim, an alcoholic, and they saw the rope in his hand.
Photo captions: 1) Desperate times. 2) Mark Ellis.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), and is also the the founder of www.GodReports.com, a website that shares testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions. Mark is also co-host with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, of “Windows on the World,” a weekly TV show broadcast on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv), that features the top stories of the week on the ASSIST News Service.
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