Posted: 04/09/2010 at 11:03pm
Former Muslims Find Newfound Faith in Christ
Mariam Mendo - Before, I did not believe in Isa, in Jesus, but now He is in my heart and I believe that He was the one who healed me.
by Lucille Talusan, CBN News
MIDSAYAP, PHILLIPINES -- Peace and security has always been a problem in the predominantly Muslim island of Mindanao in southern Philippines. Rebel groups assert their rights through violent means.
But now, former Muslim rebels are veering away from violence as they discover Jesus and experience his peace and miracles.
BLIND MUSLIM WOMAN HEALED
Ordinarily, Muslims are only seen worshipping inside a mosque. But in a Christian church in southern Philippines, Muslims and Christians are worshipping together.
A Muslim tribal group is worshipping with their indigenous instruments, leaders of different Muslim rebel groups are praying and listening to the Word of God, and Muslim Mariam Mendo is giving her testimony on how God healed her blindness.
Mendo, a diabetic, testified she suddenly lost her sight after her blood pressure shot up.
"I was very scared," Mendo said. "I told my husband I would rather die than not see my son forever."
But her husband, Spider, who was a former commander of the Muslim rebel group Moro National Liberation Front, comforted Mendo and asked the pastors to pray for his wife.
"I was not afraid," Spider said. "I know that everything is in the hands of God and that He will not allow my wife to go blind."
One of the church elders, Primo Latada, says he was amazed at Spider's faith.
"I did not expect Spider to have such a strong faith in God," Latada said. "He said 'Let us lay hands on my wife and pray for healing just like Jesus when He prayed for the sick in the Bible.'"
After two days, Mendo miraculously regained her sight.
"The doctor also told me that the diabetes is gone," Mendo said. "Before, I did not believe in Isa, in Jesus, but now He is in my heart and I believe that He was the one who healed me."
FIRST TEST OF FAITH
It was in 2008 when Medno husband, commander Spider, and other Mujahideen fighters heard the Gospel when Christian missionaries visited their training camp.
And just recently, Spider underwent water baptism which signifies his total surrender to Jesus Christ.
This was tested when his goats and chickens were stolen.
"I wanted to run after the thieves," Spider said. "I said nobody steals from me because the people are scared of me. But my pastor reminded me that I should forgive."
"I saw the struggle from his face, from his eyes," said Pastor Paul Abraham of Midsayap City of Praise Fellowship. "I told him 'That's pride that's working in you. You are no longer commander Spider. Your are a child of God. You are a servant of God. You have to work through the Spirit in you to forgive and love your enemies.'"
Because of his newfound faith, Spider is persuading Muslim rebel groups to lay down their arms and surrender to the government.
In the place where rebellion, kidnappings and violence are rampant, the Christian churches are aggressive in establishing solidarity among the Muslims and interfaith groups to usher in peace in the land.
"It doesn't matter when we are in their community as Muslims or they are in our community as Christians," Abraham said. "The most important thing for us is to share the Source of life, Jesus not only as their Savior but as their Lord. And Jesus can find expression in their community and their knees not only bowing down to Allah, but now submitting to Isa Almasih, Jesus Lord and Messiah. They find meaning in life peace and joy, loving even the Christians whom they deemed as enemies. That is the essence of Christianity."
© 2010 The Christian Broadcasting Network