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Arif’s destiny

By interserve
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    Arif comes into the room with care-worn and bloodshot eyes. ‘Sister, they told me I am going to the fire! I am going to hell!’ Fear is etched on his face and Arif looks at me as he perches himself nervously on the edge of the sofa. I am surprised, to say the least, by the opening lines of this conversation. Having known Arif for many years, I can count on one hand the opportunities I have had to talk to him on a deep level about such matters. His wife wriggles uncomfortably on the opposite sofa, unsure about the waters of discussion we are launching into, but this is no time to pull back to the safety of shore.

    Arif spent the previous week in the seedy darkness of the drug house. Smoking foul smelling weed, eating little and holding tight the women who came and went, he passed his days in a blur. Only when the money had gone from his pockets, his head had cleared a little and he had stayed away far too long did he make his way home to his angry and anxious wife and children. And then came the phone call concerning his destiny…

    ‘Brother, if it were down to us, we would all be going to the fire!’ I simply said.

    ‘What do you mean? You are always doing good things!’ he replied.

    ‘Ah! But…you do not know my heart! You do not know what a gunehagar (a sinner) I am! I could never make it to heaven on my own. I only know I have escaped the fire and will go to heaven because of the 12 mercy and the death of Jesus. That is the only way to be sure.’

    I love to tell stories and I tell Arif a story. It is the miracle that happened to a friend of mine who was immersed in crime and drugs. A follower of Jesus showed him the way home to the Father’s embrace and today my friend is a radiant example of the life which Jesus gives freely to those with the least hope of making it out of the flames. ‘Jesus can do the same for you!’, I continued. ‘One of my favourite Christian songs has these words in it… They may sound a bit old fashioned, but you will catch the drift of them…The vilest offender who truly believes that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.’

    I look up and see a glimmer of tears in Arif’s eyes. His wife now interjects to change the subject of our discussion that she has not fully understood but which has made her feel insecure and threatened. But the conversation cannot be undone, what is started will be concluded for Jesus has promised so and Life Eternal beckons to Arif to come as he is…

    I later leave the house singing, a captive of strong hope! Could it be? Yes, I am sure of this. Another beloved prodigal son is on the rocky yet hope-filled journey to life and the giver of life. A new destiny awaits and what a privilege to see it springing up!

    By an Interserve partner in the Great Britain and Ireland team

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