Fatima* heard the Muslim call to prayer echoing outside as she stood inside the church.
"Am I wrong to be here?" she wondered.
Having grown up in a strict, orthodox Muslim family, Fatima was wary of being inside a church with friends. That evening, after much conflict in her heart, Fatima practiced her Muslim prayers.
"I prayed the way we Muslims pray, but I didn't feel relieved," said Fatima. "It made me feel like something was suffocating me."
"I started to cry, and I told God, 'If You really exist—show me the way.'"
CRYING OUT IN DESPERATION
Fatima grappled with depression and came close to a nervous breakdown. At the time, she was taking six different psychological medications a day.
"I started to cry, and I told God, 'If You really exist—whether You are the one that is in the Bible or the one that is in the Qur'an—show me the way,'" said Fatima. "This time I was really calling out to Him and yelling for God from the bottom of my heart."
God heard that prayer—and He responded.
"I fell asleep, and I dreamed that I was at a church I had never seen or known of before."
Not knowing where the church was located, Fatima asked around until she heard of one like it in a city on the coast of Egypt. The church was exactly like she'd seen in her dream.
"I didn't know how to pray, so I just walked in and sat down. I talked to God a lot," said Fatima. "I felt a slight change in my life, but it wasn't the change I needed."
PERSECUTION AND ESCAPE
Fatima started reading the Old Testament, struggling to understand what it meant. Asking for help was futile; friends would steer her away from any discussion of the Bible.
Eventually, Fatima's family learned of her newfound interest in Christianity. They found a photo she'd taken of the church from her dream. So Fatima was locked in her house, beaten, starved, and threatened with honor killing.
"It continued until the day I left, from hitting to humiliation in all its forms, and accusations that my friends were the reason for this change."
Desperate to draw her back into Islam, Fatima's family began pressuring her to marry a Muslim cousin.
"They were ready to set up a date for the wedding, and the Lord opened a door for me. And I ran away," said Fatima. "It wouldn't have worked out for me to commit to someone anyway because I was looking for our Lord. I already knew if I got married, it would be the end of me; everything that I wanted would be over. So I rejected it, and when I refused to get married, the pressure became worse."
DISCIPLESHIP THROUGH LEADING THE WAY
Fatima believed Jesus Christ was God, but she didn't know much else—and she hadn't made Him Lord of her life. Away from her family, she was able to read the Bible more. But she still needed someone to help her understand it.
Her only option was the TV. Flipping through the channels, Fatima came across THE KINGDOM SAT, Leading The Way's 24/7 satellite channel, and was surprised to see an Egyptian phone number. To her even greater surprise, the Leading The Way follow-up team member Noor* told her he'd come meet her.
"He set a date to meet me," said Fatima. "That was the strangest thing ever to me, that I called, and someone answered and didn't get scared."
SURRENDERING TO JESUS
Noor introduced Fatima to a church and brought her reading material, including Finding the Joy You've Always Wanted by Dr. Michael Youssef, a booklet that became the turning point in Fatima's walk with Christ. At church with Noor's help, Fatima learned what it meant to give her life to Jesus.
"I gave my life to Christ then," said Fatima. "When I went back home to the family I was staying with, they saw me and said, 'Your face looks different. You have changed 180 degrees!' I really felt the presence of the Lord inside of me."
Noor connected Fatima with a local church and continued following up with her daily, asking her questions about the Christian books and what she was learning at church.
"Every time I felt sad or had a problem, I would receive a message from THE KINGDOM SAT team . . . and it would give me hope," said Fatima. "If someone hurt me, I would receive a message saying: 'No, don't treat evil with evil. Treat evil with good.'"
At the factory where she worked, some of Fatima's colleagues learned of her faith—and threatened to kill her. After that, she had to stop working there. But through God's provision, Fatima was able to move to Lebanon, where Leading The Way connected her with a church. With the help of Leading The Way’s Help The Persecuted ministry, she also received funds to cover her living expenses and six months' rent, helping her to start over in a safer location.
"I really thank Leading The Way from my heart. By God's will, I hope Leading The Way will be the reason a lot more people come to Christ, just like I did," said Fatima.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE CALL TO PRAYER
Faith in Jesus has given Fatima a completely new outlook on life. She is no longer the same person who listened to the Muslim call to prayer and wondered if there was another way—because she has now found the way through Jesus Christ.
"I don't feel annoyed when I hear the call for prayers, because it was the reason for a major turning point in my life," said Fatima.
Fatima's life has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and she boldly shares her faith and daily grows in the Lord.
"I used to be very scared of death, but now I wish for it, because now I know that I have already gained eternal life," said Fatima. "I'm not scared anymore. I already booked the trip with the Lord, so I'm not scared of death anymore. Quite the contrary."
It is not unusual for Muslim converts to live in fear of what could happen to them as a result of their conversion. New converts like Fatima need our support. Because of your financial gifts, Leading The Way was able to provide Fatima with financial support after she fled her home and personal discipleship to help her grow in her faith. With your help, we are standing with the persecuted, assuring them they do not stand alone in these trying times.
*Names have been changed for their protection.