For almost ten years, Baher, a young man in his mid-20s from Upper Egypt, lived in anger and hopelessness. He was only 13 when he started working in the local stone mine. In the extreme summer heat, he was cutting and hauling bricks. Only one week into the job, in a split second of distraction, the cutting machine hit his leg, breaking into bone.
What happened next, is now visibly noticeable. Baher fell to the ground, severing his arm. Later in the hospital, he would wake up to find 65 stitches in his leg – and he discovered that he had lost one of his arms. In the space of a day, Baher was disabled, physically unable to help his older brother provide an income to support their family.
“I truly realised the size of the disaster when I came home disabled,” Baher shares. “I gave up on life. I hated myself, and I hated God and blamed Him.”
As if the accident wasn’t difficult enough, six years later his older brother also suffered a work injury, which would be fatal. Baher’s own accident had already led to a crisis of faith. But losing his brother was like a death chime. “My heart was torn apart, and I lost all hope in life,” he remembers. Heartbroken and angry, he turned his back on God and the Church.
A LIFE-GIVING CONNECTION
Just as hopelessness had almost engulfed Baher and his family, God mercifully intervened through one of Open Door’s local partners. Fady*, a staff member of an Open Doors partner organisation, remembers the first time he met with Baher. He says that Baher looked miserable and anxious. “His heart was full of resentment and bitterness towards God.
“Baher didn’t want to talk with me at first. Suddenly, he exploded in anger: ‘Does God exist? Where is God in my life? If God is in control, as you say, and works everything for the good, why has He forsaken me? Why has He chosen me to suffer such pain and become disabled?’”
Fady’s response was gentle yet laced with truth: “God never leaves us because He is our heavenly Father and the Father never forsakes His children. None of us is born by accident. Everyone on this planet was created by God and has a unique purpose to accomplish.”
As Fady continued his visits, Baher’s trust in him and the whole ministry gradually grew. Eventually, he enrolled in the ministry’s discipleship group.
Baher says the micro-project of sheep breeding, provided by Open Doors’ local partners, is working very well and allowing him to provide for his family.
“If you had not backed me, I would not have changed”
Life has changed drastically for Baher and his family. “We have shifted our focus from blaming God to praising Him, and now we go to church on a regular basis,” he shares. “I am blessed with the micro-project the ministry provided me with. If you had not backed me, I would not have changed. You lifted my morale and helped me to restore my relationship with God.”
Although Baher cannot read, his discipleship group showed him how to make God’s Word part of his life. “The audio Bible allows me to listen to the Word of God daily and experience an intimate relationship with Him,” he says. “Even though my mind is preoccupied, I feel serene when I engage with God’s Word because Jesus is everything to me.”
* Names changed for security reasons
(The original story was shortened.)
Source: Open Doors