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Baptism-January 18, 2020

You Must Be Born Again, No Matter Your Age

3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3- ESV)

Pastor Hesham is often asked by Christians: How do you reach Muslims? He often answers: “I make myself available, and love them to Christ. He will do the work.”

Pastor Hesham met Hassan, 66 years old, 5 years ago in Wheaton, and invited him to Salam Christian Fellowship meeting on Saturdays. He was very happy to come, and was very devoted in his attendance at the worship, as well as the Bible study. Hassan came to America with his wife who was suffering from cancer and two daughters as refugees from south Iraq. His wife’s health deteriorated upon their arrival, and she passed away after 40 days. The mother’s death split the family, and Hassan felt lonely and disoriented. Salam provided him with fellowship and prayers.

Pastor Hesham helped him with his immigration documents, took him camping, had long dog walks with him, and broke bread with him.

It was obvious from the beginning that Hassan was disillusioned with Islam. He often criticized the faith of his fathers, and praised Jesus, and the love and peace Christians showed him for the tree years he spent in Chicagoland. Above all, he often said that he saw Jesus in Pastor Hesham as he served refugees, new immigrants, and helped them stand on their feet.

After both his daughters married, Hassan decided to go back to the Middle East, but he kept in touch through Facebook.

A month ago, Hassan came back to the U.S., but it sounded that he had a new perspective on things after he had two years in the Middle East. He said that he missed Salam a lot there, which made him go to a local Catholic church in the neighborhood that had only seven people. He emphasized that he wants to become Christian, irrespective of the life threat that it may incur.

After reading the catechism and answering all his questions, Hassan said that he was ready to be baptized, at the age of 66…a bit older than Nicodemus. With God all things are possible.

By Pastor Hesham- January 19,2020