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September Rain

“I was kneeling before Jesus Christ,” Ashraf told me. “He was standing there, right in front of me, looking at me. He was full of love and peace, and I was completely overwhelmed! I couldn’t speak, I just cried and cried. ‘Don’t ever leave me,’ was all I managed to say to him. When I woke up, my pillow was wet with tears. I knew it was so much more than a dream. I had really met Jesus.”

As the tears began to stream down Ashraf’s cheeks, the autumn rain was streaming down the windows outside the coffee shop where we were sitting. On that cold September day, I held a hot drink in my hands, feeling like I had been cold for months, enduring a summer that had never really arrived. But now, the cold did not matter. At last, my friend Ashraf, had decided to follow Jesus.

The coffee shop was getting busier and louder, but we were oblivious. With our Bibles open, we continued to talk earnestly. We had been reading through the last half of 2 Corinthians. I rejoiced to apply these words to my new brother in the Lord: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, reconciling us to himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Ashraf reminded me of how he had come with me to church, and how we had heard about the fruit of the Spirit. I had told him that day, “If you accept the Holy Spirit into your life, God makes these things possible.” That had been the moment of his decision, and God had been true to his word.

“My wife once told me that she wouldn’t leave me if I become a Christian. She wants our family together. As a Muslim, she should kill me when I tell her of my conversion. But I think when I tell her, she will come to church too!”

As we lingered in the warm coffee shop, Ashraf talked about how he would soon tell his wife about his decision to follow Jesus. “She has already noticed a difference in my life,” he said. “Now, she will know that it is Jesus who has changed me into the man I have become!”

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