Eurasian student Miraz* had almost everything a young man could want. He was bright. He had a well-paid part-time job. He was a very successful athlete. And yet, inside, it was a different story. Despite all his achievements, Miraz felt hopeless. He wanted his life to end.
But then God stepped in, in an extraordinary way. Miraz tells his story:
“I wasn’t seeking God… He found me – at the most difficult time in my life.
I was walking by my university one day and saw a student handing out flyers. Never in my life would I go to someone handing out flyers, especially outside the university. I can’t explain why, but that day I went up to her. She seemed to be shining. I took the flyer – it was for an event organised by the IFES movement in my country.
I sat down on campus with the flyer, thinking for a long time about whether I should go or not. My other thought as I sat there was how to end my life, how to end the suffering. I was tired of life. I couldn’t live any more.
But I went. And it was amazing. God was working in that place.
If I had only known how much God loves me!”
At that first meeting, the message that struck Miraz was ‘the truth will set you free.’ He downloaded the Bible on his phone and started reading John’s gospel…
“Some time later I made the decision: I want to know God, to know Jesus. I want to grow in Him. From that moment, God started to change everything in my life. When I told my friends my decision, they rejected me. When I came home from Bible study one day, my father, a Muslim, was sat waiting for me. They had noticed a change in me and had started to suspect something wasn’t right. He asked me: “Where have you been?” I told him I’d been with friends. “Where were you? What did you do?”
I tried to use all the wisdom God had given me, and I knew I couldn’t lie. “Father, I’ve been in church. I was at a Bible study.”
My parents find out the truth
It was a shock for them: “We didn’t think you’d become like that; we didn’t think you’d be one of them. We don’t need a son like that.”
What should I do? My father said to me: “Family or God: choose.” So I began to gather my belongings. It was a very difficult time. I was in tears. Ok God, I prayed, may your will be done. My parents asked me to renounce my faith, but I couldn’t. How can you reject the one who has saved you? That was the start of a long period of opposition. So many tears, so much shouting. They made me go to the mosque and meet with a Muslim leader to persuade me to turn back. But I always felt God near me, saying “Do not be afraid, just believe.”
Losses and gains
Though everyone in the world left me, I understood how much God loves me because the Word of God is active. It was active in my life. I knew that, even if nothing changed, I needed to stand firm and overcome these difficulties. Through it all, I knew in my heart that God had saved me.
Now time has passed, and I have a new family. I am not thirsty for anything in this world. I don’t need anything – I just need God. Thank God for the church here and for the student ministry through which I came to Him. Thank God they were not afraid to share with me, even though it might have caused them problems. God is alive.”