Ruth* was raised in Pakistan as a Muslim, hearing in the Koran that Jesus was only a great prophet of Allah. However, she discovered a Christian friend in Pakistan who left a good impression of Jesus Christ.
Years later, she received a scholarship for an education in the United States and began her studies at a community college. She “accidentally” stumbled into a Bible study being led by a man name Joseph that was being held in the room next to one of her classes, and didn’t know what she had done. Ruth was under the impression that everyone was a Christian in the U.S. She was very intrigued by what she heard in this study, but it didn’t take long for other Muslims to notice and to begin to give her a hard time, which, of course, made her very uncomfortable.
A nice lady invited her to visit her home, and when she saw a Bible on the table, she got very excited, but didn’t know if this lady was a Christian. When this lady said, “Let’s pray” at mealtime, Ruth got even more excited! After the meal, Ruth asked the lady if she could go to church and learn about Jesus. The lady took her to church, and here Ruth was first exposed to Communion.
After Communion was explained to her, she asked Christ to come into her heart a few weeks later. Soon after, Ruth was met with some challenges. She had only 10 days left before she was supposed to return to Pakistan, where a prearranged marriage awaited her. She felt incredible pressure and had resolved to be a “secret believer” in Pakistan.
During this time, she was sharing what had happened to her in a coffee shop, and she noticed a Muslim listening to her conversation. Evidently, this man contacted her family, because almost immediately, she heard from her cousin in Pakistan. Her family knew of her conversion. Her cousin also said if she got off the plane in Pakistan, she would be killed.
She began to pray. Soon after, a family offered her a home. As members of a Wesleyan church, they contacted the church, and together, they began to explore the process of seeking asylum in the U.S. Initially, Ruth was told that this was impossible, because it would break her scholarship contract and she would have to immediately pay back the $46,000 it cost. Negotiations ensued, and she doesn’t know exactly what happened, but the contract was terminated, and the debt canceled! The process of seeking asylum is still in process, but God continues to be faithful.
Not long after becoming part of her new family, Ruth knew she wanted and needed to be baptized. On her baptism day, her new pastor stated, “We can’t imagine what you have given up to follow Jesus Christ. It has cost you everything!” Ruth’s humble reply was, “It is small compared to what he has done for me!” With tears of joy, she was baptized that day, requesting a new name in place of her Pakistani, Muslim name. She is now loved at her new faith community as Ruth.
A little later, Ruth was confronted by her mom and sister about her decision to follow Christ. Though she was afraid, Ruth remembered that Jesus instructed us to share our faith, so that’s what she did. She shared her faith story with them. They disowned her and would not talk to her anymore.
For several months she had no contact with anyone in her family, but one day her fiancé in Pakistan contacted her, asking her to explain her decisions. After hearing the gospel, her fiancé asked Christ into his life. He has tried to go to church, but has been prohibited. Ruth was able to have someone send him a Bible (since he is banned from having one). and he has been reading it every day and communicating with Ruth about it.
While Ruth and her fiancé, Jake*, are uncertain of what lies ahead, they know the most important thing in their lives has been settled. Please pray for them in their ongoing journey—that they would be found faithful to live for Jesus and to be used to point many others to him. Ruth has become a vital part of her local Wesleyan church family, and they are excited to see how God uses her story to build his kingdom.
*Names have been changed for security reasons.