A woman who had been in the morgue two days shocked doctors and hospital personnel when she suddenly came back to life.
Sabina, who was visiting her son in Russia, fell into coma for two days before being declared dead. She was then brought to the morgue, where her body had been kept with other cadavers for two more days.
She recalled how, at the time, she saw herself at the bottom of a well with no way to climb out. Then she saw a tree at the top of the well, and one of its branches grew and reached down into the well, moving toward her.
Suddenly, the branch turned into a hand, and she heard Jesus’ invitation to grab it.
“If you grab onto my hand, I will bring you back to life,” were the words she heard him speak. When she reached out and grabbed Jesus' hand, Sabina woke up to find herself in the morgue, her body covered with a white sheet from her neck down to her feet. She could hear the voices of people around her.
As she sat up, startled hospital personnel ran out of the room. When they came back in, they found her still sitting upright, telling them not to worry because she was alive. No one could explain what happened to her, but they gave her food, water and clothes and helped her see her son in another hospital.
Sabina went back home to Central Asia, surprising her family with her return. On the first Sunday of her homecoming, she went to a Pentecostal church and gave her life to Christ.
The community where she lived was mostly Islamic, and although her family was at first baffled by her going to a Pentecostal church, eventually all her children, her mother and a niece also gave their lives to Christ and turned their backs on Islam. Some of them even went into full-time ministry.
One of her daughters, Aisha, met a Westerner named Jamal who felt a tugging in his heart to serve God in the Middle East, just like her. He became her husband, and the two found themselves sharing the love of God in Christ in a primarily Islamic country in the Middle East.
Jamal said the story of how his mother-in-law was raised back from the dead by Jesus opened many doors for them to share the gospel.
“I shared my mother-in-law's story briefly and, as a result of their openness to it, the students' interest in the gospel made it easier for me to share two days later with a group of about 30 Muslims,” he said. He saw how God turned the hearts of Muslims to Christ, including his close friend who is now a Christ follower.
Jamal and Aisha are now ministering in Syrian refugee camps where they not only share the gospel but also raise funds to help the people live in warmer tents in cold weather. The miracle that God had done for Sabina continues to open doors for the gospel until today.
Indeed, God is at work among the Muslims as reports about massive conversions from Islam to Christianity spring up from refugee camps. One congregation said this year alone, they baptized 600 people who left the Muslim faith and embraced Christianity.
However, there have also been doubts that some asylum seekers who claim to have converted to Christianity could have done so in order for them not to be deported back to their home country.
Gottfried Martens, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Berlin, Germany, admitted this could be true. However, he saw it as an opportunity to challenge the Muslims' faith.
"I know there are - again and again - people coming here because they have some kind of hope regarding their asylum," Martens said. "I am inviting them to join us because I know that whoever comes here will not be left unchanged."