This is Samaa Habib's story. It is a story of hope. And it is a story of miracles.
Samaa was raised Muslim, but she came to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But for someone born and raised in the Middle East this was not a decision to be made lightly. Samaa and her sisters faced persecution at home from family members who did not leave the Muslim faith.
But throughout the persecution Samaa stood firm even when beaten to renounce her beliefs.
But in an act extremism the church Samaa was attending was attacked in a series of bombs. And this fateful day when she should have died her life was about to be a statement of the power of God. Even in her pain and suffering Samaa faces persecution from the local medical personnel because of her faith. But through it all Samaa comes into a closer relationship with her Saviour and is even a living witness to the power of God to fellow patients.
This is not your typical near death experience encounter with God. Samaa doesn't have an experience of visions of glimpses of Heaven that are the focal point of her experience rather her journey was an encounter with God and His love and His sustaining presence even during times of persecution.
This is an interesting book that is timely during this time of persecution of Christians who live in the Middle East among their Muslim family, friends, and neighbors. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading personal insights and experiences. This would also be an excellent addition to a church library.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Chosen in exchange for my honest review.
Only God (and Samaa) knows if her story is the real deal, but everything seems to line up with Scripture as far as I'm concerned. Devout Muslims don't just randomly turn to Christ and then give accounts of their death, experience in Heaven, and return to earth. Her explanation of Heaven lines up with how Isaiah described it as far as feeling unworthy and only being able to see Jesus. The fact that her experience brought other family members to Christ is huge as well. Definitely worth a read if you're willing to sit and read with a Bible in hand to double check the verses she references. Samaa's story is all about how God worked in her life, and while I don't agree with everything she writes I don't discount her story either.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book left me in awe and opened my eyes in more than one way. About a young Muslim girl who finds herself in the middle of her countries Civil War life is not easy. Sunni and Shia Muslims are at war with each other and many suffer. Prominent families lose their status and wealth. They have to burn their furniture to keep warm, and many die from the cold. Food is scarce and many kill wild dogs or worse just to eat. There are bread lines but they are often fruitless and citizens are told there is no more bread to give despite standing outside for hours.
During one of these times in the bread line a commotion begins and an angry mob begins fighting. Gunshots are fired, people are trampled and Samaa finds herself praying to God. By some miracle she is spared when she could have been dead. More so they were lucky enough to get bread. Realizing that none of her prayers were ever answered by Allah Samaa starts realizing there is more to this God than she knows, and she yearns to know more.
Craving Jesus she begins finding out more and more on Christianity. She finds herself at some of their services, she begins Tae Kwon Do classes taught by Christians, and she begins to absorb all the knowledge she can. With that knowledge comes an unshakable faith that Samaa did not quite expect, and the hold she has always carried within her closes up.
Loving her new relationship with God she yearns to share His love with others, especially her family. Tentatively she starts spreading the news to others. Despite persecution, despite others throwing rocks at her, and her own family beating her Samaa does not give up. Slowly her loved ones begin transforming and Samaa realizes this is only the beginning of her journey.
An explosion at her church where she was a victim goes further to prove her theory that there is much more for her to do for Jesus in the world.
This book is not for the faint of heart. This is a real story of one young woman's harrowing experience in a land where freedom of religion is not accepted, and where all Christians are considered traitors. It is heart-breaking, heart-warming, and will send you on a roller coaster. It will leave you breathless and you cannot help but to sit at the edge of your seat. The difference between this book and many others is this is one young girl's TRUE accounting of what happened to her, her family, and her land.
I was left awed by this book. I was encouraged by Samaa's unflinching faith and I believe every encounter she detailed in this book. It is sometimes hard for us to accept such strong emotions and miracles. Sometimes it is easy for our minds to shed doubt on such things because certain circumstances are incomprehensible to us. But for me I loved this story and am grateful it was shared. I just know this book will go on to change lives, and I am thankful to have had the chance to read it. I have been recommending this book left and right, and will continue to do so. It woke me up even further to a lot of the issues pressing on Christians in other countries. Samaa's story is one of courage, faith, love, hope, determination, and the strength of Jesus. It just goes to show when we have Jesus on our side anything is possible.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chosen Books in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
This is a fascinating, at times nearly unbelievable, story of a young woman's conversion from Islam to Christianity. Raised in a country and culture that is beyond my comprehension, I felt a mixture of doubt, hope, and acceptance...mixed with a tinge of envy, for the closeness she has with Jesus as I read the experiences she survived. Sometimes it is hard to grasp the atrocities faced by others, yet I can not imagine her survival without the supernatural intervention of God.
The story, co-authored by Bodie Thoene, is a gripping story that keeps you wanting to read just one more page before turning out the lights. I did get a little confused sometimes about the time frame of events, but that could be my own fault since I read at bedtime. However, the book gives you a lot to think about and to pray about. Not only is it a call for action to do just a bit more for those who have yet to turn to Jesus, but is also a nudge to examine my own relationship with Jesus. I certainly recommend this book.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing, in order to write a review. I was not required to write a positive review.
"Face to Face with Jesus" is a powerful and inspirational book. I found myself face to face with one young Muslim woman's journey as she expressed the effects of Islam on women. Samaa lived in a war torn country dominated by the communists. She came from an educated and privileged family. The war took all of that away but in return she found Jesus through a self-defense ministry in her town. Jesus offered her, a woman, what Islam could never offer. He gave her salvation, dignity, acceptance and worth and for that she was willing to accept horrendous punishments from her brothers and father. In time most of her family would ask Jesus into their lives. She is to be commended for her persistence. It would be many years before her father became a believer.
Samaa also died in a bomb blast, met Jesus face to face and was sent back to complete the work he has for her.
As a woman living in a Western culture, I have been largely ignorant about the treatment of woman in much of the rest of the world, especially Islamic cultures. After reading this book, I know that I am privileged and feel grateful for where I live and how I am treated. I recommend this book which I received as a complimentary copy for review from Chosen a division of Baker Publishing Group.