As if written straight from the Book of Acts, the story of an Islamist militant’s sister who was bitten by a venomous snake and whom Jesus completely healed is only one of many miraculous accounts among Muslims in the Middle East.
Hajira (not her real name) hailed from a prominent Muslim family. Her father was a religious leader while her brother served as commander of a group of Islamist militants who targeted Christians, according to Bibles for Mideast, a ministry that plants underground churches and distributes Bibles in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
As was their yearly custom, the family went out one evening along with their servants for a bonfire night out on the rocky desert hills. After enjoying dinner under the moonlight, Hajira and her siblings went for a walk.
While they were walking, Hajira felt something bite her leg, and when she looked down she saw a Saharan horned viper slithering away.
“Within seconds I became unconscious,” she recounted. “Immediately they took me to the hospital.”
The bite of the Saharan horned viper is potentially lethal. Persons bitten by this venomous snake could experience headache, nausea and dizziness, or they could collapse or have convulsions.
Unfortunately, for Hajira, the venom had a drastic effect on her health and she was comatose for four days. When she did recover from the coma, she felt intense pain.
“I heard doctors were discussing about the renal failure and increasing fibrinolysis. I felt very bad and sad,” she said. “I gave up my hope and tried to prepare my mind for the death. But I couldn’t. I turned my face to the wall and wept.”
Not wanting others to see her crying, she silently prayed to God and asked Him to give her a “painless death.” Then she fell asleep.
While she was sleeping, an angel appeared before her and told her to “call upon Jesus, the son of the Most High” who was crucified and died for her, and was risen from the dead.
Being a Muslim, she felt irritated by what the angel said. Jesus was just a prophet, she reasoned, and neither was He crucified nor was He “greater than my prophet.”
However, the angel told her again to call on the name of Jesus, the “true Savior” who had the power to heal her physical body and rescue her from sin and death.
When she woke up, her brother Haroon asked her if she had a dream about Jesus, because he heard her talking in her sleep.
She told him the truth and expected him to be angry about it, but to her surprise, Haroon confessed to her that Jesus had appeared to him in a dust storm while he and his team were running after Christians who held baptism rites in the Arabian Sea.
Confused by their experiences, the siblings held hands and prayed.
“Lord Jesus, if you are the true savior, show us the way. Jesus, if you are the true savior, forgive our sins; Jesus, if you are the true savior, heal both our physical and mental sickness. Jesus, if you are the true savior, send somebody to us for further guidance. Ameen,” they prayed.
A couple of hours later, two men walked into Hajira’s room. One of them introduced himself as Pastor Paul. Hajira and Haroon had never met him before, so they were surprised when he knew their names. Pastor Paul said the angel that appeared to Hajira also visited him and told him to go to the hospital.
Pastor Paul told them about the love of God in Christ, and they repented of their sins and put their faith in Jesus.
The pastor also prayed for Hajira’s healing. Instantly, she was healed and got out of bed. When the doctors learned about it, they were amazed and acknowledged that her healing was a miracle.
Hajira’s family, seeing how she was restored to good health, also put their faith in Christ.
Hajira and her family are among those that Bibles for Mideast, an underground ministry, has reached with the gospel. Bibles for Mideast distributes free Bibles to places that are among the most hostile to Christians. The ministry is run mostly by volunteers.
Pastor Paul, who heads the ministry, was himself a convert from Islam. He has been in the ministry for 30 years and has experienced great persecution. His three children were once poisoned by Muslims, and one of them almost died. Yet this has not stopped him from doing God’s work.
Hajira, knowing what to expect as she embraced her newfound faith, asked for prayers for herself and her family.
“Pray that our Lord Jesus protect us and give us strength to survive persecutions,” she said.