Born to a Pakistani father and an English mother who was a Christian, Afsar Ahmed grew up with his father taking him out of primary school during Easter and Christmas season so that he will not hear any messages connected with these Christian events.
While his mother was forced to become a Muslim. Afsar’s mother prayed that one of her sons would become a Christian and witness it to others in response to her being forced to convert by her husband.
He recollects making a silver cross in secondary school and keeping inside a handkerchief and even carving a cross on the Gideon’s New Testament Bible and kept it in his bedroom, for some reason which he is unable to explain to this date.
Afsar remembers his father getting furious at him and saw fear in his eyes when he found the Bible in Afsar’s room. He was ordered to throw it away. That particular event, planted in him the seed of curiosity to learn more about Christianity, whom his dear father seems to have a personal enmity and opposed vehemently against it.
Afsar also remembers making the Lord’s prayer as a way of thanking the God of Bible for getting him out of trouble while he was in England.
All these developments carried him to Canada as they moved their home from England where he met many Christians. At 15, he recollects badge wearing Christians of Campus Crusades who shared the Gospel to him that he could have a personal relationship with God through Jesus.
“I was shocked, because as a Muslim I was always taught that Allah was unique and distant. He has no associates, he has no partners” Afsar says.
“When they shared the message of Jesus with me, I rejected it, because I could not believe that somebody could have a personal relationship with God through Jesus”.
He could not believe that somebody could have a personal relationship with God, so he rejected the message of the Bible. The idea was so revolutionary to him that he could not even begin to imagine that God loves him that way.
Later he found himself accepted in a government sponsored, summer farming programme where they had to live on a farm for two months. As a part of the programme he was required to attend a weekend farming seminar where met a tenacious 16 years old Christian girl, who just would not stop sharing to him the Gospel and the God of the Bible.
He was challenged by the girl that she would prove that her God was the real God and will demonstrate to him an answered prayer based on her personal relationship with God by praying that he would go to a farm where they are all born again Christians. And that he will get the ‘Gospel rammed down his throat for two solid months’.
And so it happened exactly to Afsar, when he met Gerald and his family. He was overwhelmed to find out they were all born again Christians. He could not believe that God answered the girl’s payer. This opened his heart to what the man had to share about God to him during his stay at the farm. Where he saw love which he has never seen in Islam, shining through him.
Afsar Ahmed, fondly remembers the man calling him as his ‘spiritual father’. His love for the Lord and consistency in his life won him over to Christ. A living example of the ‘Word’, he was a ‘genuine article’. A ‘doer’ of the ‘Word’ and not just a ‘hearer’.
On witnessing to the Muslims, Afsar Ahmed suggests that we need to see the Muslims as Jesus sees. A people who needs Jesus. Having compassion like Jesus had for the crowd mentioned in Matthew 9 as a people who were harassed and helpless and in need of the Good Shepherd.
We need to see the Muslims, as a people that God loves just as He loved the people of Nineveh. That through our lives and prayer, they see the need for Jesus, receive the forgiveness of sins and promise of eternal life and have a personal relationship with God through Jesus.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)