Where was hina shamsi born again as a Christian

«Religions say: 'Do!'. Christianity says: 'It is done!' "

Muslim became Christian

The current photojournalist Karim Shamsi-Basha was born in Damascus. The young Muslim kept asking his father questions about faith. Years later, he went looking again after being in a coma for three weeks.

Photojournalist Karim Shamsi-Basha was researching a church fire when suddenly his eyes went black. «It was a chaotic day. I had a headache and within seconds it was like my head was going to explode and my eyes were falling out. " He remembers that medics leaned over him and asked him questions. He fell into a coma for three weeks because of a brain aneurysm. For several months he could not speak or walk. His short-term memory was also lost. But over time there was complete healing.

On his last visit to the neurologist, the latter invited him on an unexpected spiritual journey. The doctor said that few people recover fully after suffering from such an illness. "You have to find out why," advised the doctor.

The search begins

Growing up as a Muslim, Shamsi-Basha had already had a long religious journey. Raised in Damascus, he was the youngest of four children. When he was an adult, his mother told him that he almost had an abortion. But her friend Hanrietta, who was supposed to accompany her on this path, finally did not allow her to continue the procedure. He was born a few months later.

He grew up in Damascus. "I was special to my father, he overwhelmed me with love." His father ran a clothing store and was also a talented poet and writer. At school, Karim had a good friend, Moneir, a Christian. Sometimes the two would talk about religion. These often led him to ask his father at home. He answered openly: "Keep reading and discovering."

In 1984 he emigrated to the USA. Five years later he married a Methodist. "We were both very open and had no problem marrying someone from another religion." When the aneurysm returned a few years later, he decided to take the neurologist's advice and discover why he had survived. Some of his friends advised him to read the Gospel of John in the Bible. Because man is on this earth because of the love of God.

Not saved alone?

Shamsi-Basha wanted to know more and he also read the Bible passage John 14: 6: «Jesus answered: 'I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life! Nobody can come to the Father without me. '”He began to ask pastors what that means. Over the next four years, he learned more about Jesus. At a conference for photojournalists he befriended Bill Bangham, a photographer on the International Mission Board. «Jesus is the real deal. It's not a facade - what you see is what you get, "said Bangham.

Soon after, he was baptized. «I realized what God had done in my life. Everything that happened showed that God cares about me. But I couldn't call him 'my savior' yet because I didn't want to be saved alone without my family. "

"It is done!"

Two hard blows followed in the next few years: the divorce after 16 years of marriage and the death of the father. “When he died, I collapsed. I was both a Muslim and a Christian. I was angry with God. But something in me pulled me back to Christianity. " In 2008 he accepted Christ as his Savior.

"All I did was obey," says Shamsi-Basha. “Salvation is mentioned over 150 times in the Bible. Only once in the Koran. Islam and most other religions say, 'Do!' or 'Don't!'. Christianity says: 'It is done!' "

"Paul and I"

His life story has also been published as a book, the title of which emphasizes that he and Paul both made a trip to Damascus ("Paul and Me: A Journey to and from the Damascus Road, from Islam to Christ").

May it touch him to be born in the city ”in which Paul converted. He converted on the way to Damascus. I'm on my way out of this. Two very different stories, two very different men - but the same salvation and the same Lord and Savior. "

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Date: 07/31/2014
Author: Daniel Gerber
Source: Jesus.ch / Baptist Press