A devout Muslim woman who harbored a deep hatred of Christians converted to Christianity after Jesus appeared to her in a dream and told her to visit a local church.
According to Christian Aid Mission, the young woman, whose name was not disclosed for security reasons, lived in Turkey's Black Sea coast along with her strict Muslim family. One Sunday, she showed up at the church of Pastor Matta, the leader of an indigenous ministry reaching Turkey's 96-percent Muslim population.
Through tears, she told the pastor she had seen him preach on weekly Web posts of the church's services.
"I did not know you, and I hated the Christians, and for this reason I was intending to make fun of you when I started watching your videos in the Internet," she said. "But the things I was hearing from you spoke to me of the love I was always looking for, and the words of faith and courage were doing away with my fears."
Her heart transformed by the truth of the Gospel, the young woman converted to Christianity. However, fearing for her life, she was hesitant to attend a worship service. That is, until Jesus appeared to her in a dream.
"In my dream, Jesus led me to the church, telling me, "What are you still waiting for? Follow my way,'" she told the pastor. "And I saw all of you in there waiting for me, smiling at me. Before I met you, I saw you in my dream. Thanks be to God."
Pastor Matta said he returned home after talking with her and looked up her Facebook page. He was stunned to find she frequently shared her newfound faith with her family and friends.
"I then told her to be careful in doing this because of the resentment she might cause," he said. "I am still worried because of the likely opposition of her family and of her surroundings, and I please ask you to pray for her so that she may grow in the faith, and may gain an entrance to a university of another city."
He added, "This is really a miracle. If these things happened 2,000 years ago, they are still happening today. This young girl still wearing her headscarf, having hundreds of friends in Facebook, does not stop spreading the gospel to others."
Turkey is ranked 37th on Open Door USA's World Watch List of countries where Christians face the most persecution, and has received the maximum score in the violence category.
CAM notes that Christians in Turkey face increasing hostility and discrimination from their Muslim counterparts. Pastor Matta shared the story of a Muslim man who recently put his faith in Christ and is now in serious trouble from his family.
"Since his family found out about his conversion, he is constantly threatened by them that he is to be disowned," he said. "He is very young and pure in heart and loves the Lord. Please pray for him, that he may feel the presence of God supporting him and that he may endure this time of trial. And pray also for wisdom for us to give him right counsel when he comes to us with his problems
He added, "These kinds of situations occur very often in our country, sometimes with wolves entering our church disguised as sheep and threatening the children of God, and at other times with family pressures," he said. "But nonetheless, the work of the Lord is not arrested."
Voice Of the Martyrs Canada, which supports Christian radio broadcasts in the region, told BosNewsLife that despite the large numbers of Christians fleeing the Middle East due to terrorism, persecution, and war, scores of Muslims are making the decision to embrace Christianity. The organization revealed that many Muslims hear the gospel through radio and online sermons.
"There are thousands upon thousands coming to Christ," VOMC revealed. "We are in regular contact with our FM stations in Iraq and have talked with many people who have family in the Middle East."
"Some of our Middle Eastern broadcasters have shared testimonies [about many turning to Christ] with us, which they hear directly from listeners when visiting there ..."