A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

Iraq: Muslim from Nineveh resisted the Bible, then discovered its ‘magnetism’

Chevan was born in Nineveh, the city where Jonah preached. His father was a sheikh and preached at the mosque, but Chevan never got interested in daily prayers. He was drawn into journalism and reported on television and movies.

As a result of his coverage of popular culture, islamic extremists targeted him. They had already killed a sportswriter friend because they were demanding “good” press. They didn’t care that a sportswriter has nothing to do with politics. Chevan didn’t write about politics either, but after he witnessed his friend gunned down in front of his eyes, he knew not to stick around.

He traveled to Syria, then Egypt, to Dubai and finally to Lebanon. His family was aware of the dangers he faced and funded his travel. While he pursued an acting career, he found a job selling ads for a magazine and two newspapers. He was getting by.

‘The pastor reached out his hand and offered him a Bible’

One day he was walking down a busy street near downtown Beirut when he ran into a pastor handing out Bibles. The pastor reached out his hand and offered a Bible to him. “No, I don’t take it,” Chevan said. “I am Muslim.” “You don’t have to be Christian to read the Bible,” pastor Gergis responded. “It’s happy news. You just read it like any other book.”

Two days later, the same pastor approached Chevan on another street, without recognizing him. This time, Chevan was annoyed. “This is the second time you told me to take the Bible, and I told you I don’t want it,” he responded gruffly. Improbably, the pastor ran into Chevan on the beach a few days later, didn’t recognize him, and offered him a Bible once more. “You know this is the third time you offer me this Bible. This time I will take it, not because I want it, but just because I want you to stop!”

Chevan took the Bible home and started reading in Genesis. He flipped through to the middle and studied some passages. He also read some passages in Revelation. He spent nearly four hours in the Word. Suddenly he was seized with curiosity to discover the “happy news.” “I wanted to read it more. I wanted to know what the secret was in this book,” he said. “It was magnetic to me. The next day, I went to the Bible, I don’t even know why. I just wanted to open it again. I felt like something amazing was in this book, but I didn’t know what it was.”

‘Then he discovered the secret behind the Bible’s magnetism’

The Sunday afterward, he found an ad in the newspaper about a church and decided to attend. Originally, his plan was to expose the Christians’ false worship. By “coincidence,” it was Pastor Gergis’ church. “People were very friendly to me. I thought I would tell them I am Muslim and they would kick me out. But they didn’t. They told me it was God’s house for everyone in any time. I was happy.”

Two months later, Chevan discovered the secret behind the Bible’s magnetism: it’s a living Word. Unlike other books, the words in the Bible are alive and they offer new life to all who believe. In response, Chevan surrendered his life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and was born again. He was 29 when he received the Lord.

Later he received a refugee visa for the United States and got involved in a local church. Chevan has now been following Jesus for 10 years. He dreams about becoming a pastor in Nineveh, the place where he was born.

Source: Esteban Orozco, the names in this report have been changed for security reasons

# 1053 | September 26, 2017

 

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