Adapted by Mark Ellis —
He was a Syrian refugee driving a taxi in North Africa when he happened to pick up two Christian workers with their children.
When the driver, Tarek, told them he was from Syria, the Christian worker, Kevin, told him: “Oh. I prayed for your country this morning!” That initiated a spiritual conversation that would go on for many weeks and months.
After that initial ride, Kevin and his wife sought Tarek for more taxi rides. They learned their driver had been an engineer in Syria, according to a story from Frontiers.
In the lawless atmosphere surrounding the Syrian civil war, police hijacked Tarek’s car, took him outside the city, forced him to strip down to his underwear, and stole the vehicle.
He had to walk for hours before he could find a phone to get help.
Tarek was able to use a GPS tracker to find his car, but police learned he activated the tracking system and threatened Tarek’s son.
In response, Tarek and his family fled Syria the very next day.
After arriving in North Africa, he wanted to start an engineering business, but his money was stolen by a man who befriended him. Drained financially, he started driving a taxi to make ends meet.
At the same time, he decided he would apply for refugee status in another country where some other family members had settled.
Tarek asked Kevin to help him with the paperwork for his visa application. As they reviewed the forms, Tarek asked Kevin, “What is this word ‘seek’? What does this mean?”
“‘Seek’ is to look for something, to want something,” Kevin said. “Jesus talked about seeking and finding.”
Tarek quickly changed the subject.
But a few days later, they were surprised when Tarek said, “Kevin, tell me again about what Jesus says about ‘seek.’ I love it when you talk about Jesus. I want to understand.”
“Jesus promised when we seek Him, we will find Him,” Kevin said.
In the next several weeks, Tarek and Kevin continued the conversation about Jesus, Islam, and the Bible.
“We should study the Bible together,” Kevin said one day. “I’ll see if I can get you one.”
Tarek’s countenance brightened. “Yes! Really? Yes! I love you so much, Kevin. You are my brother.”
When Tarek received the Bible, he gushed with joy. “This is God’s plan that I had to leave Syria to come here,” he said. “It’s God’s plan that you are here. And now I have this Book. I want to know. I need to know!”
On his first night with God’s Word, he read a hundred pages in the Gospels.
A few days later he told Kevin’s wife: “Pray for me that I will follow Jesus. I want to tell Jesus that I love him, but…”
“So why don’t you decide to follow Jesus?” she asked.
Tarek said his family has always been Muslim. If he decided to follow Jesus, it could cause huge problems.
Kevin and his family continued to pray for Tarek as they watched the battle over his soul.
In the Qur’an, Tarek discovered verses about Jesus being more than a man, someone worth following. It seemed to Kevin and his wife that the Holy Spirit was softening Tarek’s heart, drawing him into a relationship with Jesus.
Tarek was eventually granted refugee status in a country where he hoped to be reunited with his family, but he kept facing unexplained delays in the timing of his departure.
“Kevin, please pray,” Tarek pleaded one day. “The people at the embassy don’t return my calls when I try to find out when my departure will be. I feel hopeless, like I will never get to see my family. Please pray to God for me.”
“I’ll pray for you now,” Kevin promised.
A few hours later, Kevin received a phone call from Tarek. “They called!” Tarek exclaimed. “They called! They never call, and then you prayed, and they called! This is a sign. God is listening to your prayers!”
The following week, Tarek read a passage in the Qur’an that said Jesus has the power to forgive sin. He knew that only God could forgive sin. He concluded that Jesus must be God Himself, the Gospels must be true, and Jesus is truly who He said He is.
A few days later, Tarek called Kevin to request prayer once more.
“I’m waiting again for the embassy to call,” Tarek explained. “I need to see my family. Kevin, please pray.”
Kevin agreed to pray.
A few hours later, Tarek called Kevin with amazing news.“Kevin, my brother,” Tarek began excitedly. “They called again! They told me that I will be able to leave in two weeks! You prayed, and this is the second sign. This is the sign.”
And for the first time, Tarek announced his decision, “I will follow Jesus forever! It is finished!” He was born again.
Two weeks later, Tarek departed for his new home. Saying goodbye was difficult and many tears were shed.
“I will always follow Jesus,” Tarek told them. “You know this, Kevin. I love you so much! This was God’s design that I picked you up in my taxi that first day. And now, I love Jesus! I love Jesus so much!”
To know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
Note: Names and places have been changed for security reasons.
For more information about Frontiers, go here