Worth the Risk

Last year I had the privilege of praying with brother Yousef*. His sister had been murdered for being a believer by her own husband, and I suspected that Yousef was also a secret believer. He couldn’t say. But he did say to me, “One day, what we whisper in the hidden rooms will be shouted from the rooftops”.

I prayed for Yousef in this difficult situation. I was privileged to hear what little he shared with me. I prayed for his safety, and for his family. His son, Mohammad*, recently unemployed, really needed a job.

Life is incredibly difficult for people here. Unemployment and crime are extremely high, food is unsanitary and fraught with infectious diseases, and war wages nearby, with frequent bombings and gun battles in the city. But for believers, life is even more dangerous. They are forced to come to terms with the risk that one day they could be found out, and if so, their own family would be obligated to kill them.  Two weeks later, I heard that Mohammad had got a full-time job. Yousef gave credit to my prayer and the God I prayed to. He would never forget it.

I didn’t hear much of Yousef after that. Muslim extremists overran the city and we all fled. Yousef’s life was in terrible danger, so he escaped under cover of darkness to a neighbouring country. He couldn’t even tell his relatives where or when they were going. He left Mohammad behind, now able to stay and support himself working full time.

Mohammad doesn’t know what his father believes or why he so desperately needed to leave. But he is searching out faith for himself. I pray that one day he might discover what his aunt died for, and the reason his father had to flee. I pray that one day Mohammad will realise that it is worth the risk.

*Names have been changed for security reasons.