Adapted by Mark Ellis
Gulzhan was studying the Bible with a Christian worker when, one day, Jesus met her in a dream. After this dramatic encounter, she surrendered herself to Jesus as Savior and Lord and was born again.
Word of her decision spread rapidly throughout the village, where Islam is deeply entrenched in people’s minds. Soon Gulzhan faced stiff resistance from her neighbors, according to a report by Frontiers.
After the winter arrived, the cold weather drove villagers off the streets and into their homes. Now Gulzhan rarely had to meet the disapproval of her neighbors when she went out to the market.
But the worst of the persecution came from her husband, Elemes. He was upset by Gulzhan’s new faith and his anger reached the boiling point. Whenever he saw his wife reading the Bible, he beat her, pulled her by the hair across the floor while he yelled curses at her and insulted the name of Jesus.
Elemes’ anger towards his wife continued without any signs of letting up.
One day, as Gulzhan was reading God’s Word and singing praise songs, Elemes kicked her out of the house and into the snow. He locked her out and left her in the cold without any shoes or coat.
Amazingly, she continued to praise Jesus throughout this freezing ordeal. “God had so filled my heart with His Spirit and joy,” Gulzhan told Frontiers, “that I simply continued singing and didn’t feel the cold as I searched out a place to stay.”
Elemes eventually let his wife back into the house, but his anger and the beatings continued. Gulzhan stood strong, trusting in the knowledge that God had accepted her even if her husband did not. She continued to read the Bible daily and experienced strength, sustenance, and courage in the face of much pressure, according to Frontiers.
After a year of this unrelenting persecution, something strange happened to Elemes. He woke up suddenly in the middle of the night with a stark realization. “I can’t move!” he screamed. Paralysis had overtaken his body.
Elemes suffered with this new reality, and after a few days, God filled his heart with a holy fear.
A few nights after the paralysis set in, God revealed to Elemes in a dream that his paralysis was because he had been speaking against Jesus. Like Saul of Tarsus blinded on the Damascus road, Jesus suddenly had his full attention.
Within a week, Elemes repented of his hard heart and cruel behavior and asked his wife Gulzhan to bring others from her small fellowship of believers to pray for him.
As the small group of believers gathered around Elemes to pray, they felt God’s presence, but his healing wasn’t immediate. Slowly God restored his upper body and Elemes now has full use of his arms.
Meanwhile, Elemes’ anger and hatred have been transformed. After reflecting on all of the dramatic changes and events that had transpired, he decided to follow Jesus himself!
He has become his wife’s strongest ally in the Gospel, and he has also become a steadfast disciple of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Pray for this couple, that their radical faith in the Savior would draw many in this hostile village to Him.
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