“If this is real, show me.”

“If this is real, show me.”

Are you ever intimidated about engaging lost people who are different than you?

Do cultural differences, varying upbringings, and contradicting religious views make you hesitate to build relationships with people?

Are you ever scared of the discomfort or embarrassment that might result when you try to share your faith with someone who is anti-religion?

The odds seem to be stacked against us sometimes when it comes to sharing our faith.

But thankfully, God knows and pursues His people, even when we have a hard time doing so.

Mahdi and his family are practicing Muslims who recently moved to the U.S. from Iraq. Despite the numerous cultural differences however, Mahdi is still a teenage boy. The promise of good food, fun games, and cute girls lured Mahdi to come to a Youth For Christ gathering with his cousin.

Mahdi made it clear week after week that he wanted nothing to do with the whole “Christian thing.” But week after week, he kept coming back to YFC events.

Despite his initial standoffish front, Mahdi started building relationships.

In March of last year, a few YFC leaders who had gotten to know Mahdi extended an invitation to an upcoming Discipleship Retreat. Mahdi was interested in the idea of a weekend away from home, but God had much more in store for Mahdi.

During a time of musical worship, Mahdi hung towards the back, far enough to remain disengaged, laugh with his friends, and crack some jokes about his peers who were lost in worship…

But as he watched, he began to wonder if there was something going on beneath the surface of this “show” he thought he was watching. With eyes closed, in an almost sarcastic tone, Mahdi said to himself, “God… if this is real, show me.”

The Spirit overwhelmed him in that moment, and weeping, he fell to his knees. The walls he had built to keep God out of his life crumbled down as he reached out in prayer and confession.

The music stopped and, through a film of confused tears, Mahdi pulled three leaders aside and said, “I want to follow Jesus. I know He’s real.”

A year later and Mahdi is now a baptized member of a local church family. He remains actively involved in YFC’s City Life. He passionately shares Christ with anyone who will listen. God has truly done an incredible work in Mahdi’s life.

However, not everyone is pleased with his new life in Christ. While Mahdi has much to celebrate, he is also enduring the weight of his family’s disapproval. Since making the decision to follow Christ, his family has resisted him, he has been unwelcome in his home, and his own mother has not spoken to him.

But through it all, Mahdi continues to pray and trust God. He clings to the hope that God will move in his home and that the Holy Spirit will transform his family with the truth and power of the Gospel.

Join us as we pray for Mahdi, and others like him, who are experiencing true costs for choosing to follow Jesus.

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