Hakeem* remembers the day his sister’s husband, a former Christian, shoved a Bible towards him, “You may like a garbage book I don’t need anymore.” Curious why someone would change their faith, Hakeem began reading, then asking questions. Over time his family noticed he was different. They were indignant. His father, an imam, threatened to kill him if he didn’t abandon Christianity. He didn’t quit; he just kept reading.
Ashamed, his father gave the ultimatum: “Choose our family, follow our faith, and finish your medical training or choose the Bible and its Jesus. You can’t have both.” Hakeem held onto Jesus, even though he had to flee for his life to a neighboring country. Because he had converted to Christianity, his name was put on the apostasy list in the Education Ministry. When he requested permission to attend university, the Ministry called his father and his academic papers disappeared. Realizing the risks all around him, he found himself hiding in a foreign country, stigmatized, with no evidence of his education, no future. He felt abandoned, alone. But God knew where he was and sent him a friend who taught him more truth from the Bible than he had ever imagined in contained.
In December 2021 Hakeem was baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist. Today he is rejoicing because he knows that in spite of everything he has given up he has gained the full truth about Jesus. He has faith, too, that Jesus will take care of whatever his future holds.
–Hakeem’s new friend
**not his real name