Earlier tonight I heard a presentation by an Iraqi, formerly a Muslim, about how he came to know and convert to Christianity. It was very interesting. Afterward, he had a question & answer session, and many of the questions put to him had to do with the reality of being in Iraq versus what we were told here in the U.S.
He told us how, like all other Iraqi men, he had had to serve a mandatory term in the army (this was under Saddam Hussein). He was addressing the topic of Hussein's Iraq actually being a threat to the U.S. or not. He said, "When I was in the army, I fired only 7 bullets. Only one of them hit the target, and it wasn't even my target." Then he added, "By the way, I was in the Republican Guard."
Yeah. That was the supposedly "elite" troops that we constantly heard about in the news.
But like I said, his story was fascinating. It began when, as a teenager, he had a 4-year-old sister who died suddenly of an unknown illness. His mother, grief stricken, asked their local religious leaders for something from the Koran to comfort her, and no one could give her anything. It angered him so much that he temporarily became an atheist, because he refused to believe in a God that couldn't offer a few words of comfort to his grieving mother. Later, he read some popular books that contained some Biblical quotes and it began his interest in investigating the Bible. One of the books he pointed out was Peter Benchley's The Island. He managed to find a copy of the Gospel of John and mistakenly thought that it was the whole Bible. Since none of the quotes he had read were from John, he thought that they were all false. But then later he happened across a copy of the New Testament and saw that John was only a part of it. Then he realized that because several people from the New Testament often said, "As it is written..." there must be even more to it, and eventually he got hold of a full Bible with both Old and New Testaments. He had to borrow money from a cousin who had a steady job as a barber to buy it.
He had many valuable insights into living in the Muslim world, and I wish many more Americans could hear what he has to say. He admitted that he will probably never see any of his family again, and that it will likely not be safe for someone like him to return to the Middle East during his lifetime.