Mr. G* was leading a Bible study which ran late. Close to midnight, he waited for a taxi after the meeting. Night is not the best time to be traveling and can be very dangerous. As he waited, a man approached, asking for directions. Mr. G immediately recognized him as a Syrian. The verse came to mind, “if a man asks you to walk with him a mile…” and the directions were complicated so Mr. G offered to walk him there. Within a few steps, conversation turned to spiritual things. It was clear that the enquirer, a Muslim, had no assurance of his eternal destiny and began asking questions of Mr. G. who quoted John 5:24 which provides the amazing assurance of a future in God’s presence. As they came close to his destination, the young man said to Mr. G “you must come in and share these things with my coworkers.” Mr. G looked and realized that he was standing in front of the Syrian army barracks in the city. It was a place many people enter and are never seen again. Mr. G protested, “It is after midnight, we cannot disturb your friends.” The Syrian answered, “Just 5 minutes. I will wake them. They will want to hear what you have shared.” With great fear and trepidation, he entered the compound. Good to his word, he woke his friends; more than 300 military men! Mr. G again shared the good news of John 5:24. The men eagerly listened and responded to the message.
The following day, Mr. G travelled back to the barracks with boxes of Bibles to give to the men he had spoken to. As he entered the base, men in the Syrian security forces intercepted him and asked him to come to the security headquarters. There he was seated in a room before 11 security officers, including the Major General. They told him, “We heard that you visited our men in the barracks last night and we need to know what you told them.”
They questioned him intensely for a long time, asking many questions giving him an opportunity to share what he shared with the enlisted men. Finally the Major General asked them all to leave. Mr. G stood up to leave but the Major General said, “No, not you. You will stay.” The other men left and Mr. G was alone with the Major General. Once the other men had left the office, Mr. G began to experience real fear. He knew this man had the power of life and death over him. The officer began to weep and he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small book. It was a Bible. He handed it to Mr. G. In it Dr G read a note from the Major General’s brother which said “Mohammed, my brother. It is my prayer that you come to know the truth of this book.” He opened the Bible to John 5:24. It was highlighted and annotated. Mohammed, the Major General said “this is my brother’s Bible. I had to kill him because of this verse that caused him to become a follower of Isa (Jesus). Tell me how I can become a follower of Isa.”
Mr. G lead Bible studies that continued for 9 months, with up to 300 military men. Mr. G discipled 11 Syrian officers for several years after this encounter. They are all followers of Isa, including Mohammed, the Major General.
*Name is hidden and changed for Mr. G’s protection