Khalid Mansoor Soomro is from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He was an ardent follower of Muhammad until he decided to put a challenge to some Christian students at his school.
This dramatic testimony tells the first-person perspective of how a Muslim convert came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
I belong to a Muslim family. When I was 14 years old, I was studying in a convent school in Pakistan. My parents had forced me to learn the Qur'an by heart when I was seven, so I did.
I had a lot of Christian fellows (or acquaintances) at school and was surprised to see them studying because I had always found Christians to be of a low profile in society.
I discussed and argued a lot with them about the accuracy of the Qur'an and the rejection of the Bible by Allah in the Holy Qur'an. I wanted to force them to accept Islam. Often my Christian teacher told me not to do so.
He said, "God may choose you as he chose the Apostle Paulus." I asked him to explain who Paulus was because I knew Muhammad only.
One day I challenged the Christians, suggesting that we each burn the other's Holy book. They should burn the Qur'an, and I should do the same with the Bible. We agreed: "The book which would burn would be false. The book which would not burn would have the truth. God himself would save his Word."
The Christians were frightened by the challenge. Living in an Islamic country and doing such a thing could lead them to face the law and meet its consequences. I told them I would do it by myself.
With them watching, first, I set the Qur'an on fire, and it burned before our eyes. Then I attempted to do the same with the Bible, but as soon as I tried, the Bible struck my chest, and I fell to the ground. Smoke surrounded my body. I was burning, not physically, but from a spiritual fire.
Then suddenly I saw a man with golden hair at my side. He was wrapped in light. He placed his hand on my head and said, "You are my son, and from now on, you will preach the Gospel in your nation. Go! Your Lord is with you."
Then the vision continued, and I saw a gravestone that had been removed from the tomb. Mary Magdalene spoke to the gardener who had taken the body of the Lord. The gardener was Jesus himself. He kissed the hand of Mary, and I woke up. I felt very strong, as if someone could strike me, but I would not be hurt.
I went home and told my parents what had happened, but they did not believe me. They thought the Christians had me under some magic, but I told them that everything had happened before my very own eyes and that many people were watching.
They still did not believe me and kicked me out of my home, refusing to accept me as their family member.
I went to a church close to home and told the priest about what had happened. I asked him to show me the Bible. He gave me the Scriptures, and I read about the event I had seen in the vision with Mary Magdalene. That day, February 17, 1985, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.
My family rejected me. I went to various churches and learned about the Word of God. I also followed many Bible courses and eventually went into Christian ministry. Now, after 21 years, I have had the joy of seeing many people come to the Lord and accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
Thanks to the Lord, I am now married and have a Christian family. My wife Khalida and I are involved in the work of the Lord and have been able to share the miracles God has done in our lives.
Even though it is not easy and we face many hardships, we feel like Paul, who went through hardships and suffering for the glory of his Savior, Jesus, who suffered during his walk on earth and his time on the cross.
We thank God the Father for sending his Son to this earth and giving us free, eternal life through him. Likewise, we thank God for his Spirit, who encourages us day by day to live for him.
KHALID MANSOOR SOOMRO: Pakistan