An interview with responder Mounir*
Hello, Mounir. How are you doing?
I’m doing well. Thank you so much.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Mounir. I’m originally from Syria. I’m ex-Muslim. All my family are Muslim. I moved to Lebanon to work and then I came to know Jesus Christ. I got married in 2002. My wife is from East Africa and we have five kids. I have just finished a degree in theology and am preparing myself for a Masters.
So you’re an ex-Muslim. Tell me how you came to faith in Christ.
Well, that’s a very long story, but I’ll try to summarise it.
I grew up in a Muslim family and I used to do everything as a Muslim. But then I left Islam and I said, ‘I don’t believe in anything. There is no God’.
In 1994 I moved to Lebanon to work with my brother. While I was working with my brother, we had a problem to do with money. I shared this problem with a friend and he showed me a verse from the Bible from Matthew 12:25, saying ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand’.
He said to me: ‘Jesus said that’. I asked him about Jesus and who Jesus was, but after a long conversation he said, ‘I’m sorry, I cannot answer your question’ – because he was a Muslim, too!
He knew a Christian so I went to him. We compared the Qur’an and the Bible. We talked and talked. There was one word that shocked me. He said, ‘God loves you’. I said, ‘God loves me? How does God love me? It’s impossible that God loves someone like me.’ I laughed at him and didn’t think he was serious.
He said, ‘God loves you. He sent his son.’ I said, ‘What? His son? God has a son? Who’s his son?’ He said, ‘Jesus Christ.’ I said, ‘How does this come to be? Jesus is a nabi. He’s only a prophet.’
After a long conversation, I said, ‘Show me how God loves me.’ He said, ‘He sent his son to die on the cross, to take your place and show the love of God the Father.’ I asked him what I must do. He said I don’t need to do anything. I just need to accept him in my life as Lord and Saviour. But before that, he said I should go to church, listen to the Word of God, read the Bible – and then God would lead me.
I went to the church for around three months every Sunday and attended a Bible
study every Wednesday. Then God spoke to me and I recognised who Jesus Christ is. I prayed and said, ‘Lord, today I want to give you my life. Today I want you to be my Lord and my Saviour.’ That was in 1995. Almost twenty-three years ago.
Now you are part of Arab World Media’s ministry team. How did you get involved?
That’s a funny story. I knew Brother Khalil*. He was my neighbour, and he is also from my country, Syria. I met him twenty years ago in Syria, and we were neighbours here in Lebanon. He never talked to me about the work he does.
Then, later, when I was in South America, I got in touch with him and became a volunteer. Then one day he asked me if I would like to join the team. I said, ‘Show me how’ and he explained. I started in July 2017, just for three months to see if I wanted to continue. They wanted me to continue, and I was happy to do so.
What is your role on the team?
I am a responder. I respond via live chat, WhatsApp, Viber, etc. I answer people’s questions. If someone accepts Jesus, I pass them on for follow-up. And I disciple some people if we cannot send them for follow-up.
In that role, can you think of one thing that gives you the most joy?
I get the greatest joy when I’m in touch with someone and, after a while, they accept Jesus as their Saviour. I feel like they are my spiritual son. I really am happy. Sometimes I jump in the room and say, ‘Wow! Hallelujah! Amen!’ I love it.
I have five kids and every time I’ve had a child, it’s given me joy, so when I see someone born again spiritually, I know how much God is happy, so I’m happy too.
Can you think of a Bible passage that might be a favourite of yours?
Psalm 27:10 says, ‘my father and my mother rejected me but you received me’.
This is my favourite verse because when I was a new believer, my father and my mother rejected me, but God didn’t. He received me.
How can we pray for you and your family?
First of all, I really need wisdom. I need God to lead me and help me. We are communicating with people who sometimes speak harsh words. We need wisdom.
As a family, pray for our needs and for our children to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Pray for our spiritual needs and physical needs as a family.
How can we pray for your nation?
Well, I am Syrian, yes, but I’m Kurdish. (By the way, the Kurds were the first people to visit Jesus Christ. They were the magus, the wise men.) Islam came and forced them to be Muslim, but now the Kurds recognise that they are not Muslim.
I want you to join me in praying. We have a big movement now among the Kurds. For the first time in my life, in Syria there are three Kurdish churches and 250 families that are believers. This has never happened before. Here in Lebanon, there are two Kurdish churches.
I want you to join me in praying that my people will recognise Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Mounir.
Thank you and God bless.
*Names have been changed.