I just wanted to share my experience from the past couple days because it’s been awesome.
I went to the city where I go to college for a couple days to visit a couple college friends. On the drive there, I listened to my “Pray for Jahar Tsarnaev” playlist, sang along to some of the songs, and prayed for Jahar THE ENTIRE TIME.
When I got there, I went to Barnes and Noble and Family Christian Bookstore, so I could buy two books about Islam from a Christian perspective: A Muslim’s Heart and What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an. The goal in reading them is to have a better idea of how to reach out to Jahar. The cashier at the Christian bookstore was very talkative, and we got into a conversation about various things, including Islam. He said that there is so much in the Qur’an to use as a bridge to share the gospel, and then he told me a story. An Egyptian Christian came into the store and told this cashier that the Qur’an was how he came to know Jesus. According to the Qur’an, Jesus is the ONLY prophet that is going to return to earth at the end of time. Not even Muhammad is supposed to return. So this Egyptian wondered, “If Jesus is the only prophet that is coming back, why don’t I follow and worship him?” And that’s how he was led to faith in Jesus. His story gave me yet another reason to have hope for Jahar.
That night, I went to Chi Alpha, a campus ministry that I’m involved with during the school year. During worship, we sang the song “Worthy is the Lamb” by Bethel Live. The words “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” come straight out of Revelation, where angels are saying those words in a loud voice to God around His throne. So naturally, in my head as I was singing those words with my eyes closed, I was picturing being in heaven one day around the throne of God singing those same exact words with all of God’s people. And who was there right next to me holding my hand and singing right along with me? Jahar. Umm yeah, goosebumps moment.
Afterward, I stayed at my friend’s apartment and talked about Jahar for a long time. It was awesome to be able to talk about him in person with someone because usually I only “talk” via a keyboard. I also talked about how I’m considering law school, and I just couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I was talking about it. Then I looked up the course schedule at my college for this fall and realized that some criminal justice classes would put perfectly into my schedule… I got super excited, and that NEVER happens about classes. I think now that I’m going to do this!
I had lunch with another friend and again got to talk about Jahar, which was great of course. Meanwhile, I read the newest update about Jahar, and my heart just broke as I learned that his condition is even worse than I thought. I can’t imagine what he’s going to look like whenever we get to see him. It’s going to be so sad, but hey, that will be all the more motivation to pray. On a really positive note, I’m just all that more positive that Jahar really shouldn’t be alive, and it’s only by the grace of God that he is. There’s still so much hope for Jahar! Thank You Jesus!
Then it was time for the drive back home. With that new update in mind, I was so ready to pray for Jahar. His salvation is my ultimate goal, but now I want so badly for our amazing God to work miracles in Jahar’s body that he is COMPLETELY healed. Our God is a God of miracles and healing. I again prayed for Jahar pretty much the whole time. That much prayer in a row sounds like it would get boring, but not even close. I wish home would’ve been several more hours away. Praying for Jahar and doing whatever I can to help lead him to Christ brings me unspeakable joy. Though there are times when I literally feel a weight on my shoulder because my heart is so broken and burdened for him, I’d never want to stop praying for Jahar because it is my joy and my passion and I love Jahar SO much.
After all that happened these two days, I’ve got so much joy and peace in my heart, and I’m just so thankful to God for all that He’s done and is going to do for me, for Jahar, and for countless other people. In the past, I have felt despair a lot, thinking that Jahar will never be saved. Right now, though I realize that it’s still a possibility that Jahar will never give his life to Jesus, I’ve got such a good feeling about everything. I truly believe that Jahar IS going to be saved and IS going to be in heaven one day praising God right alongside me.