“I talk to people from Africa, Asia and all over India who are seeking God and are hungry for the Gospel”, tells GlobalRize mentor Azaad (29). He leads Bible Course students and is a world-wide missionary from a village 50 km outside of Haiderabad, India. Born in a Muslim family, he now calls himself Azaad, which means “freedom”. He testifies, “I am free in Christ.” Azaad is sad that there are few workers, while there is so much work to do for God’s Kingdom. At the same time, he feels privileged to be able to share the Gospel via the internet and can bring Bible Course students in contact with local Bible-believing churches.
Set out of the mosque
As a fifteen year old, Azaad was kicked out of the mosque when he told about the “medicine man” Jesus Christ. In the mosque, Azaad studied the Koran and read about Jesus the healer. He also heard about Jesus in the Catholic church that he and his mother visited because she had received help after her husband had left her. “Who is Jesus and what does he mean to us?”, asked Azaad to his Imam, but he couldn’t give a satisfying answer. Azaad knows first-hand, “It is difficult to become a Christian from a Muslim faith.”
In Jesus’ Name
When he was 16 and an IT student, Azaad became a believer and began to personally follow Jesus, his Savior. At that time he had a vision about his grandfather’s deathbed: Muslims were forcing his grandfather to confess his guilt, just before he died. But his grandfather could not say the confession, because his tongue refused. Then Azaad said it for his grandfather, “Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. Will you forgive my sins? Amen.” In Azaad’s vision, his grandfather corrected him, “You have to say, ‘In Jesus’ Name.’” and after that he died. When Azaad repeated his grandfather’s words, he was raised from the dead, and there was great joy. Many people came to witness the miracle. “Wherever I come now, I share my faith in Jesus Christ,” says Azaad.
Cup of tea
Azaad works in a rehabilitation center for Aids patients and helps them by means of healthy food and medicine to prepare for their return to society. When one of the patients was about to die, Azaad went to visit him, although he actually wasn’t welcome any more. He shared about his vision about his grandfather, after which, the man also wanted confess his sins. Azaad said the words for him to repeat and left. The next day the man was sitting up and drinking a cup of tea. He could leave the center as a healthy man. “He would have been carried out of the center as a lifeless man, instead he went home as a free man in Christ”, tells Azaad. “A miracle!”
“It is difficult to become a Christian from the Muslim faith, because Muslims are constrained to keep their laws and rules”, sighs Azaad. He finds that Hindus, more than Muslims, are open for other beliefs. And yet, Hindus can react strongly against the Gospel. His friend Chrisnia, a Hindu, had received a Bible at the university which he read and then threw away because he didn’t want anything to do with the Christian faith. Azaad and Chrisnia discussed long and hard about it, until Chrisnia said that his heart ached, that he wanted to believe, and that he wouldn’t resist any longer. Chrisnia was baptized and many Hindus came to the service. They were curious why Chrisnia had converted and many of them also came to believe. “It is special to see how people who have just become Christians have led others to believe”, reflects Azaad.
Sharing Jesus’ love
Azaad translated the GlobalRize Bible Course from English to Telugu, a language that is spoken by 93 million Indians. This way they can hear the Gospel in their own language. “ I speak to students on-line about the faith, but also off-line I am sharing my faith,” tells the driven mentor, who loves nothing better than sharing the love of Jesus with those who have not been reached. Enthusiastic, Azaaad says, “Even without a passport, visa, or money we can still reach people far away and bring them to God! A wonderful ministry.”