*Names and locations changed for safety.
I grew up Muslim, but I was not following the practices of Islam. I admired the principles of Christianity. I knew Ken and he was a believer. He talked to me about Jesus and Christianity. He said if I believed, then we would decide whether to marry or not. Because I already admired Christian principles, I was okay to accept this faith. So I came to the Lord and believed and prayed with Ken. My faith was in my heart and I didn’t share it with others because I knew they wouldn’t accept this.
After about one year, Ken asked my father for my hand in marriage and we were engaged. My uncles, who are Muslim, rejected the engagement and they gave my father a hard time and spoke harsh words to him for allowing me to marry a Christian. They would say, “Don’t you have any pride? Aren’t you ashamed? You are Muslim!” This brought me much pain, but my father loved me so much that he was willing to allow me to marry whomever I chose.
My faith was new and I loved Ken so much that I sacrificed everything for him. Our wedding was in secret. I said, “After we are married, I will declare my faith in the Lord.” And I did. I faced a lot of persecution like I never had before and I turned back on my faith. I told Ken he could keep going, but I could not; everyone was against me.
I had lied to God. I said I wanted to follow Him but then I turned back. More persecution came and I went further and further from God. Until I realized that God was not leaving me. I had given Him a promise and I was not keeping it. But the Lord was not giving up on me.
There was more and more pressure. Ken was so strong even with much persecution from his family and he gave me a good example. I became stronger, but I wanted to keep my faith in my heart because if I would announce I was following Jesus it would bring trouble in our community.
During this time, the Lord showed me many miracles; but I wanted to deny them because the persecution was so hard. I believed but had doubts and kept telling myself that Christianity was the wrong way. My uncle and his wife had been married 10 years without children. I told Ken to bring the other believers in our city and have them pray for her. After one month, she was pregnant. And my faith was strengthened.
Then Ken’s brothers persecuted him. They took all of the inheritance from their father (money that we should have had to live on) and even took Ken’s own shop from him. One of his brothers called Ken to meet with him and when he did, he cornered Ken in a room, locked the door and began stabbing him with a knife. Somehow Ken got away and ran to my father’s house. Ken called me in the middle of the night to come to him. When I got there, I saw him with his clothes torn and he was stabbed and bloody. The next day, his mother came and told him he deserved to be killed by his brother’s hand because he had converted. And my faith was weakened.
There was a series of miracles and persecution. I felt like I would take one step forward in my faith and then persecution would come and I would take three steps backward.
Ken became broken and hopeless after his brother attacked him. We sold everything and he moved to find work. I stayed in our country alone. I would attend Christian meetings in secret. My brothers were always telling me I was not a good person and my morality was bad because I would spend time with Christian people. I told him Christianity was better. He wouldn’t speak to me. My sister wouldn’t play with my young son because he was the son of a Christian. She would say harsh things to me and kick me out of the house. My parents were good to me through all of this and they would tell my siblings to be quiet. But I didn’t tell Ken what was happening because I didn’t want him to be more burdened because of my persecution.
The persecution was too much for me and, since I was in one country and Ken was in another, I told him, “I don’t want this anymore. I’m tired. I don’t want this pressure. I don’t want to believe in God anymore. Why is all this persecution and hardship happening if this is the right path?” But Ken never let go of me and he kept encouraging me with the Scriptures.
Then one night before I slept, I said, “If you are God…if you are the right path…show me.” I had a dream and in my dream I was shouting, “Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus!” When I awoke, I had a faith in me again to call on Jesus’ name.
Since that dream, the Lord has really been working in my heart. I began taking steps forward in faith. I moved and was reunited with Ken and our life began moving forward. There are still hardships and weaknesses, but God has done a great work. God is using us to bless others and I am continually blessed by my husband.