TESTIMONY: Gulf Arab becomes an evangelist

Let me tell you about Jesus

‘Let me tell you about Jesus.’ Bartimeus* loved telling others about his faith in Jesus. Being so open in his conservative Gulf Arab state put him at risk of imprisonment. Or worse. What made this ordinary, humble, Arab man so bold for Christ?

Surprised by satellite TV

Years earlier, Bartimeus stumbled across one of the first Christian broadcasts aired in the Gulf. He was fascinated by the clear gospel presentation and when the preacher invited viewers to raise a hand if they wished to follow Jesus, Bartimeus responded in faith. Yet nothing seemed to happen.

In fact, Bartimeus’ life began falling apart. He had started drinking heavily, lost his job, and his wife divorced him. Impoverished and struggling, Bartimeus tried to bring stability back into his life. He became a taxi driver, and remarried.

The simple truths he heard and Bartimeus’ raw honesty made such an impact that he put his trust in Jesus himself.

Spiritual heart transplant

Then Bartimeus had an encounter with God that turned his life upside-down. One evening, walking upstairs at home, Bartimeus seemed to fall backwards. He didn’t trip or stumble; it felt as though he was being carried in mid-air. Bartimeus saw what he described as angel hands coming towards him. They seemed to open his chest and remove his heart, replacing it with a new one. He immediately connected this encounter with his decision to follow Jesus years earlier. Despite falling backwards down a flight of stairs, Bartimeus scrambled to his feet unharmed. He rushed to turn on the television, searching for the show he had seen. The Christian satellite programmes became a lifeline, enabling Bartimeus to grow as a believer.

Passion for the Saviour

Bartimeus’ life changed. He was passionate about sharing Jesus with everyone, whether passengers or his Muslim colleagues who often told him to shut up.

An expatriate South Asian church leader heard about Bartimeus and they began meeting together. Since the leader didn’t speak Arabic, a third believer acted as interpreter, enabling Bartimeus to enjoy personal discipleship for the first time.

Bartimeus continued witnessing to his passengers. One day, an African Muslim man got into his taxi and heard his testimony. The simple truths he heard and Bartimeus’ raw honesty made such an impact that he put his trust in Jesus himself.

His witness goes on

Sadly, a year later, Bartimeus was called home to be with his Saviour. The man he had led to Jesus is still going on with the Lord and has joined a fellowship.

Who knows what spiritual fruit will come from the seeds sown by this humble taxi driver evangelist?

* Name has been changed and library images used for security reasons.

THIS EDITED ARTICLE ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN FULL IN AWM’S FREE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE AWMLINK. CLICK HERE FOR MORE CONTENT.

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