Trail of Tears

I was born in a city called Mariwan in the Iranian part of Kurdistan. My dad was a Communist or komala as it is called, and so was my mom. In 1981 my dad became a Christian. When my mom and dad saw each other again, and he told her about the best experience in his life and she also became a Christian. But my mom spent lot of time in prison. My dad was killed in 1984. The last time I saw my mom, she was in a hospital in Tehran. I was sitting outside when my uncle called me in to see my mom. I was shaking. I didn't know what was going to happen. When I reached the door of her room, I fell down in tears. But she called me in and told me not to worry because she would be with God.

She told me that when I got back home to go to where the apricot trees are in a river. There I would find a bag with a book in it. She told me to take the book and read it. After I finished reading it, I was to put it back in the bag and in the river again. She told me not to cry but I could not help it. She kissed me and died after a while. Her last words she told me were "I want you to be where I am. You have never seen your father but you will." And she also sang a song for me which went something like "amineh takanay daya sat birya emin baya" It is a famous Kurdish song that she sang for me when I visited her in jail.

One day after school, I went to the garden, got the bag, and tried to read the book. I couldn't read it because it was in Kurdish. At that time, I could only read Persian. But because they used the same alphabet I was able to slowly figure out the words and by the grace of God, I learned how to read in Kurdish through that book. This book had an amazing impact on my life. Not in the first year, but as I read it over the years, I became better and it gave me the peace that I needed.

After my mom had passed away and because of the torture she had suffered, my uncle sent me to the mosque and I began reading the Qur'an. I loved it for its poetry but they never told us what it meant. I dared not to ask because I was thinking that it might be the word of God and we humans just don't understand it.

What troubled me was that the same character in the book of my mom was also in the Qur'an. And I remembered reading in Peter's confession that Jesus is the Son of God while the Qur'an denied it. So I wanted to know why it was different. One day, without realizing what would happen, I took both books (Injil, and Qur'an) and showed them to my uncle and asked him why they were conflicting. He demanded, "Where did you get this book?" I said my mom hid it. He took it out of my hand and put it in a wood heater that we had. The book was burned to ashes. The only gift I had from my mom was gone. The only memory that kept me going was burned. Now I couldn't go to the garden, read it and cry over it. I used to cry over it all the time. I asked, "Why did you do this?" He said that I might end up like my mom and my dad. This is when I learned that my parents went from Communism to Christ. He insulted my parents and said I would be a kafir (unbeliever) too. My grandma said, "May the worms and snakes eat my parents in the grave and not leave them alone."

One night I prayed and said, "Jesus, you promised if we ask in your name you will answer and we would receive it." I prayed that he would help me to find someone from my city who was a Christian. This was a rather impossible request.

The Gulf War started and refugees poured into my city. They spoke the same language but I had never heard the dialect they spoke. One day, I met Hiwa a Kurd from Iraq. Hiwa invited me to his place for Friday night but I had Qur'an classes and I could not go. I saw my mom in a dream and she told me to go on Sunday. Hiwa said that I couldn't go on Sunday since they were busy. But I said my mom told me to go on Sunday. He asked why she would say that. I told him the whole story and he then said that his father and mother had been Muslim but they became Christians through some Assyrian friends. Hiwa told me to meet him at his house at 5 p.m. He rushed home to tell his parents the story.

When I got to his house, it was time to eat and then hear some preaching from his dad. I ate with them. I told them that my father had been fighting in the mountains and my mom too. One day they were attacked and my dad crossed the boarder into Iraq and went to seek refuge in the home of his friend who was an Assyrian. My dad saw so much through his friend that he hungered for God and became a Christian. He asked my dad's name. I said Karim. He asked if I was a Christian. I said I believe in Jesus and had read his book. But now my uncle had burned the book and I didn't have it anymore. He said he became a Christian the same way as my dad had. He said you have to call Christ into your life and allow him take over your life. I asked, "How do you do that?" He came and put his hands around me like I was his own son. He said to receive God's salvation all you need is a relationship. This relationship could only be through faith and trust. I asked, "How should I pray?" He said, "Repeat after me." I prayed, "Father, please forgive me, a sinner. I know that you are one. Your way is one. I know that Jesus is the way and I want him in my life." - My sorrows turned into joy and my heart was healed. I cried no more.

When I went to my Qur'an class, I asked if Christianity was right. My teacher said, "What?" He brought me in front of the class room (in the mosque not at school) and slapped me as hard as he could. I fell to ground with my whole face shaking. He asked some kids to go outside and get some sticks, dip them in water and then he hit me in the hands. He put pencils between my fingers and squeezed them until I could be only on one foot and I was jumping on it. He had me carry the heaviest kid in the class. I had to crawl around the room. After that he kicked me out of the class room. Hiwa's mom saw me unconscious, bleeding from my mouth and swollen. I couldn't help the tears coming down and she asked who had done this. I said, "Mamosta", which is Kurdish for master. She said, "Go, tell your uncle." I said he knew that I was close to becoming a Christians like my parents and he didn't want this. He didn't want me to be able to try and find out why my parents had become Christians. He was afraid this might make me into a Christian and my leaving Islam would bring lot of shame to his family. She took me to her home and shared a passage where Jesus said that they will persecute you all in my name. I knew this was not the way of God and I was glad that I was a Christian. She told me that they would be leaving in two weeks to go back to Shaqlawa. I said that I want to go with them and get away from my relatives. She said no I had to stay. I agreed.

When I came back home, my uncle asked why am I looked so badly? I said I was punished. He asked for what? I said for asking a question. He said what kind of a question. I said that I had asked if Christianity was right. He yelled at me, "Why this question?" I said, "Because my parents were Christians." He picked up the broom and hit my head with it. Again I was bleeding on my head. He chased me down the stairs and I was hearing my grandmother saying "bikkosh, bikoosha" which means kill him, kill him. He chased me about ten minutes and I couldn't run anymore. I was dead-tired, hungry, and thirsty. I called on Jesus for help. It was about nine o'clock. I didn't know where I was, but miraculously, I ended up at Hiwa's house. I was sitting to rest and than realized that it was their house. I got up and knocked. They open the door and were shocked at what they saw, a swollen face and ripped clothes. Dust was all over me and my head was bleeding. I took a shower and Hiwa lent me some of his clothes. I ate and drank and slept for a while but I got up with a hunger to call out to Jesus and study the Bible. I woke Hiwa up and studied with him. The next day Mrs. Mahsun (Hiwa's mother) said that I could go with them. My uncle was looking for me. He saw me at a store with Hiwa and called me. He said, "I am sorry. You be a Muslim again and I will allow you back to my house." I didn't accept his offer and went the other way around.

Then Mr. Kamal came to me and said, "Islam can't be right because in Islam so many false prophets have appeared such as Baha'ullah and the Ahmadiyyas who claim to be the Messiah. No where in the Qur'an does God warn us of this. Jesus did warn us. He said that the Christian experience was not like any other faith. There is none like it. He explained that in all other world religions, man was trying to reach God. But God is too big for us. How can we reach him? He said in Christianity, God is the one that is reaching man.

I said what about the Trinity? He said, "The Trinity has nothing to do with how many gods there are. It only has to do with God's nature and the three persons make up the one God. He said, "Can a dog understand the nature of man?" I said no. He said, "Right, because we're too unique to be understood by a dog, and when we go to heaven WE will be learning more about God. I became a Christian because of my emptiness and because I needed someone that could meet my needs. Jesus Christ was the only person that did that. I became a Christian because Jesus appeared to me in my dream and told me that I would be with him. I became a Christian because the Bible answered all of my questions."

Today I am living with Hiwa's family in the U.S. I am working on preaching the Gospel of Jesus to Kurds.

Through my walk with Christ I gained understanding of life. I was told that when growing up I would find all of my questions answered in the Qur'an. But this is not the case now. I found the answers to my questions in Bible and not the Qur'an. I would like to give one example. This could be proven by asking what the meaning of creation is. Every Muslim that I asked says that we are created to worship God. Even the Jehovah's Witnesses that I have talked to say this. But Christianity is the only religion that says that we are created to be with God in heaven, but through sin we came short of the glory of God and He has to redeem us. The peace and joy that one gains through Jesus can be found in no one else. In fact, I went to Buddhist temples and to the Bahai's. I studied their books and I could never find something that fulfills. The only joy Muslims find in reading of the Qur'an is that of its poetry and that they believe that it came from God. I do not think that the following poem of Omar Khayyam is inspired. Even though when it is translated to English it still makes sense.

"Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so wisely - they are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust."

It makes good sense, doesn't it? Ladies and gentlemen, all you need is the peace of God. Jesus said in John 14:27

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

All you need is Jesus. I urge you to call on him because he is the only one that can provide what the heart of man needs.

May God show you the truth and it shall set you free.

Please, anyone with any kind of questions feel free to write me. I will do my best to help you.


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