Hello and God bless you. My name is Amal and I testify that what you are about to read is all true and correct to the best of my knowledge as God Himself is my witness. My prayer is that God will speak to your heart and use this testimony to bless you in a special way in your life.
Basically I grew up in a strict Moslem home. My father is Palestinian from Israel. My mother is from Brazil. She was Catholic. My father met my mother in Brazil while away from his homeland on a trip. They got married and my mother converted from Catholic to Islam. Like most people who come to the states, they both traveled to the USA in search of a better living. They settled in Los Angeles where I was born less than a year later.
I believed everything I was taught about Islam and felt our religion was superior to all religions of the world. Though, as I grew older some of the teachings of Islam began to bother me, like the dress code of being all covered up. I could never figure out why I had to wear long sleeves. I mean how much can a man be stumbled by my elbow? Then there were the ritual prayers. I didn't like saying the same thing over and over. It felt so strange like a kind of alienation towards God. I was taught that if you prayed in the Arabic language God would hear it even more, but I couldn't speak the language and felt left out. I tried writing out the Arabic prayers in English, but still something was missing. I wanted to pray from my heart, not from words that were not mine. Other teachings bothered me also like abstaining from certain foods, but the one that got me most was the - many wives in heaven - theory. I asked my dad if I was going to heaven and he couldn't answer me. He was quiet about it. As a teenager I thought "I don't want to be in heaven in some strange man's harem...just the thought gave me shivers up my spine. No, I definitely knew for sure I did not want to go to "that heaven" at all.
In 1981 at the young age of eighteen, I made the decision to marry my first cousin in order to please my family. I was always wanting to please my family, especially my father. I had never attended a high school dance nor had I ever dated anyone because it was against my fathers' wishes. Yet two months out of high school I was married. To my dismay not even this action seemed to please my father.
In 1985 I enrolled in college against my husbands and my fathers wishes. They felt that I should be home in the kitchen "where a woman belongs" . With the agreement that I was to maintain all my "wifely" duties at home, I was allowed to continue college. I had become pregnant with my first and only child. I had a precious baby boy. It was probably the biggest struggle of my life but, I managed to complete my tasks at home, maintained an honor roll status and won two awards at school, became a new mother, and finally graduated college. As I look back I now know that I had done it all for my fathers approval, yet still this did not seem to please him either.
It was 1991 when I was away on a business trip with my husband. He had started this business of selling clothing at state fairs. My husband, me and our friend, whom I'll call "John" to maintain his privacy, had traveled through different states. We slept in hotels, and worked 16-18 hour days. Oklahoma was our next stop. We had a fourteen hour drive ahead of us and we had to leave in a hurry to make it there in time to set up for the state fair. I wanted to take something to read on this long drive, except I didn't have anything with me and we had no time to stop at the convenience store. Instead of being bored for 14 hours, I decided to take a brown Bible that was sitting on the night-stand of the hotel room we were staying at. When I was approaching the door to leave, my friend John, a catholic, stopped me and said "Amal you've never stolen a thing in your life and now your going to start with a Bible? You can't do that! Are you O.K. ?" I laughed at him "Oh John," I said "It's just a bible it's not like someone's going to miss it. No one really reads these things, and anyway I'm just borrowing it. I will mail it back." Then John said "Hey I thought you were a Moslem, why do you want to read the bible all of a sudden?" I replied "Well, I'm just curious about what it says and besides, there's nothing else to read on this trip." With that we all hopped into the truck and started the long drive. While in the truck for about an hour I soon became bored. I was sitting on a small stool in-between John, who was driving and my husband, who was sitting in the passenger seat. I was staring in awe at the array of colors the setting sun was casting against the clouds in the sky. At the same time I began singing a song I remembered as a child... "Glory, glory hallelujah, glory, glory hallelujah, glory, glory hallelujah." and then I stopped because I couldn't remember the rest of the song. We were passing through a scene that I gave thanks to God for creating. Once again I sang those words again having no clue what they meant but somehow knew it was exalting God for his creation. With the frustration of not being able to recall the rest of this song's lyrics, I asked "God teach me a new song to sing to you." I looked into the clouds thinking surely He'll answer me, but alas I heard no thundering voice coming through the clouds as I imagined this is how God would speak. All of a sudden, I thought to myself how silly I am while remembering I was taught, "God speaks to no one". I looked down at the bible I brought that was sitting on my lap and opened it. I had decided I would read whatever page I opened to. This is what I read:
A Song or Psalm of David.
O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.  Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.  I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.  For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;  That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.  God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.  Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;  Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.  Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?  Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
It was so odd, but I felt that somehow God was speaking to me through what I read. Out of curiosity I looked at the page number I was reading, it read "666". Whoa! I shut that book so fast remembering all the teachings of satan and his number, 666. "Is God trying to tell me this book is satanic?" I thought. After more pondering I came to the conclusion that all books with so many pages had to have that page number also. Feeling terribly silly, I discarded the thought of the bible being satanic.
A few days later in Oklahoma I was very sick with a bad flu. I was so dizzy and unable to walk that I stayed in the hotel room that day while my husband and John were working at the fair. I was alone and in bed in this dimly lit room. My thoughts began to wander and I began thinking of how miserable my life was. I was so unhappy. I missed my child because I hadn't seen him in a month. And here I was on this "so-called business trip". My husband was not a very sharp business fellow, he was always searching for that "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow", so to speak. I had calculated out that we were losing about $400.00 a day yet we were bound by state fair contracts. This and so many other problems in my life began to scream at me inside my head. I decided that if I went on thinking about my problems it would not be good for my health. With that thought, I grabbed the remote control and turned on the TV. I was switching channels looking for a movie or some show that could get my mind off of my problems yet, it was too late. I began crying and in anger threw down the remote control on the bed and the TV switched channels by itself. I didn't know what channel it had landed on because my eyes were so full of tears. As I was crying I heard a voice of a man on the TV he was saying something about Jesus and immediately I thought "Oh great that's all I need now, one of those crazy Christian preachers on my TV set. In self pity I cried even more while this man kept talking. He said "Your feeling so confused because you've got so many problems" and in my crying state I agreed and said "yes I'm feeling so confused and I've got so many problems". Then he said "Your crying and your desperate." And I replied out loud "Yes I'm crying and desperate". It was that moment that I decided I wanted to see who was talking to me. So I sat up in bed and reached for a tissue to wipe my tears and focused on this man on TV. Then he shouted, "You just sat up!". I began to cry even more loudly while I put both my hands up to my face shaking my head left and right. "Yea I just sat up", I replied. Then he said "You just put your hands up to your face like this and your shaking your head like this" I gasped and quickly and intensely stared at the TV set as this man was imitating my exact action. I couldn't believe it, He was talking to me! Then he said very loud while pointing straight at me through the TV, "Woman Jesus is your answer! Come right now to the TV set right where your at !" Without even thinking twice I leaped from the bed, and ran to the TV set and knelt down in front of it. Mind you I couldn't walk prior to this though somehow I was able to almost fly all of a sudden. He said, "Quickly there's no time to waste, put your hand up to mine and repeat after me." He held his hand up with his palm towards me and asked that I put my hand up to his. As I pressed my hand against his hand on the TV screen he said, "Now repeat after me." He then began what I know today as "the sinners prayer". Somehow I knew deep within that this was the way to God. He began talking so fast while I was concentrating hard on the words... you see in Islam I was taught if I didn't say the prayer correctly God wouldn't honor it. As I began to repeat after him the best I could a strange blue neon colored light pierced through the very center of my palm that was pressed against the screen. This light went through my hand, up to my shoulder, to the top of my head and down to my feet but only on the right side of my body. It then shifted to the left side of my body. It felt like a type of soothing energy. This blue energy light then began to circle in an oval shape inside my body and began to grow outward spilling out into the dimly lit room. I was not frightened at all and knew this was good. The circle of light grew bigger and lighter in color until the whole room was filled with a brilliant white light. A feeling of love that I never knew overwhelmed me. I felt so safe, somehow I had become one with this light of love. I knew this was the closest I had ever been to God. When it was all over the man on TV said to call the number on the screen if I had said that prayer. I quickly picked up the phone and called. A dear sweet old lady answered the phone. She congratulated me on accepting Jesus into my heart. And I said "Oh thank you. I knew something good was going to happen today you see because it said so in my horoscope." She replied, "Now dearie... as Christians we don't read horoscopes." That was my first lesson. She said to me that God wants to give me gifts now that I'm a Christian and asked if I would like info on receiving these gifts. "Sure I would like that" I said while my mind pictured a pretty box with a ribbon on it. I didn't really know what she was talking about. Still I gave her my address to mail the info. I hung up the phone and sat on the bed thinking of all that had just happened.
Was this real? What did just happen? Immediately God brought to my memory a day in my life two years prior. I remembered crying out in misery to God while kneeling on the floor of my living room at home. I remembered holding my fist up towards the ceiling and saying to God "Are you real? Why don't you answer me if your real? Why is my life so miserable? I want you and no one else to answer me because I just can't trust anyone anymore! I want to follow you but I don't want to waste my time in the wrong religion, I want to be sure. Answer me, please answer me!" God was reminding me of my questions to Him in such a vivid way it was like a movie screen in front of my eyes. Now I knew what had just happened. God Himself answered me in His own miraculous way. I don't know if the light I saw in that room that day was a vision or actually in the physical realm, but I do know that what I saw and heard was real and that I had finally met the one true God in a very special way.
The next day I was back to work at the fair. Earlier, I found a blue bible in the hotel room that was exactly the same as the brown one from the previous hotel room. Secretly in my heart thinking blue would look better in my living room, I exchanged bibles. My mind was not on work, but rather on the bible and I had a strong desire to read like I never had experienced before. When my husband finally left the booth I took out the bible being so careful that he didn't see me. I then began to read Genesis. Wow! I was reading the same bible but it was different now, more powerful, more real! I loved it and kept reading even to the point that I forgot I was at work. All of a sudden a man's voice asked "What are you reading?" Startled, I looked up and realized my booth was filled with about a dozen people, yet I hadn't heard any of them come in. Shyly I held up the bible to the man and showed him the title on the cover and then I put the bible back down. Suddenly shame and fear filled my mind as I thought "Oh if my dad saw me reading this bible he would be so angry." Then the same man again asked with a big smile "Well, what are you reading?" Could this man not read I thought, what is his problem? In frustration I finally said out loud "The Holy Bible!"
All of a sudden the other people in the booth began shouting in turn, "Glory to God", "Amen", "Praise the Lord", "Hallelujah!". I looked around the booth smiling back at these faces that seemed to be beaming with light and they all seemed to be so happy.
I looked back at the man who asked me the question and asked "Are you all together?"
"No, I'm just here with my wife" he said with a huge smile. Feeling so overwhelmed with all these customers all of a sudden, I quickly went around the booth asking if any of them needed help. No one needed any help, but each one in turn encouraged me to go sit and read the bible. They were all Christians! Then another man that stood beside me said, "You sure look like your enjoying what your reading" "Oh yes it's very good. Have you ever read this book? You really should." I said. "Yes I have read that book and it is very good" he replied. "Are you a Christian?" I asked. He smiled at me and replied "Yes, I am". "Oh", I said shyly "Are you with any of these other Christians here" "No", he replied. I stood up from my chair, "Really? Can you answer a question about Christianity" I asked. He looked at me grinning "Well he said I think I may be able to help you because that's what I do. You see I'm a minister and my father is a minister and my grandfather was a minister and my son is studying to become a minister. So you can feel safe to ask me a question about the bible." "Well", I said "I have this problem. You see yesterday I became a Christian and I kind of took this bible from the hotel and now I fear that God may be very angry with me for stealing." He chuckled and said "That's great that you've become a Christian but you have no problem because that there is a Gideon's bible and these people make bibles to put into hotel rooms for people like you to take. They are happy when they find a bible missing. And God is even happier that you are reading His Word." I was relieved and filled with joy that I could actually keep the blue bible. When they all had left I found that I sold more that hour than I had in any day during the month and it happened while reading God's Word. From that day on I never again was fearful or ashamed of reading the "Holy Bible". God had placed all these Christians who were all separate yet there in my booth at the same time that day to encourage me. Is it coincidence? No it's God!
Back at home in California, I received that pamphlet in the mail with info of "How to receive gifts from God". I remembered the sweet old lady on the phone the day I became a Christian. It was evening time and I was alone in my bedroom. I took the pamphlet and began to read about the "gifts". The first gift was called the gift of tongues. It said pray that the lord will touch your vocal chords then wait. So I got on my knees next to my bed and prayed to God that he would touch my vocal chords. I then got back up sat on my bed and closed my eyes and waited. About 2-3 minutes later my mouth moved and made the shape of an "o" and I spoke the sound "O" then in turn my mouth began making other shapes and I would speak those sounds...the sounds repeated to form different words and the different words repeated and became sentences. I was speaking a language I had never heard in my life. It was fun. I looked at the pamphlet again and saw the next gift called "Interpretation". I prayed again and received that gift. Then came prophecy, and so on down the list. By the third day, the God that was so far away was now my best friend in the whole world. The very first thing I remember Him saying to me was "Amal I love you", I cried for 3 days after that because I was feeling so unworthy of his love. I couldn't understand why Jesus would die for me. I was not accustomed to this kind of love.
One day in prayer I asked God who the Holy Spirit was. He answered very clearly "1 Corinthians 2: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16". I said "God, I don't understand" . He then repeated the same answer and told me to open my bible. I had never heard of this word "Corinthians" before and I wondered what all those numbers meant. But God knew me and knew that I would open to the table of contents. I soon found it and this is what I read:
1 Cor. 2:12-16
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
After reading that I said to the Lord God "You mean the Holy Spirit is my teacher?" Then I heard very clearly "Yes" said the Lord. Oh was I overwhelmed with joy. Then I asked "Holy Spirit do you mean You will teach me this bible?" Once again the Lord God spoke "yes" He said. A feeling of warmth and joy overwhelmed me so much I thought I was going to burst. You see I wasn't allowed to go to church. My newly divorced father had disowned me, my brothers were ashamed of me and my husband persecuted me daily. I had Moslem relatives calling me daily, because they wanted to teach me Islam in a better way. Yet my heart was fixed and no one could ever tell me that what happened wasn't real. God does speak to us! God himself took care of me and every time I had a question, he told me where to look in the bible. This took place for three months. One day he instructed me to go get baptized at this local church in my community. So on the day of my baptism my friend "John", yes the same one that was in Oklahoma with me, asked to come. He said he never witnessed a "Christian baptism" before. While at the baptism, John was holding my towel and the Pastor mistook him for someone whom was there to get baptized. John told the Pastor that he was planning to get saved at the church service first. I stood there in shock at what I just heard come out of Johns mouth. Then right there he repeated the sinners prayer and was baptized also. I was so full of joy that my friend had found God. To this day I claim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. And heaven, yes I want to be in heaven with Jesus where I will praise the best friend I will have ever had on earth. He is my Father God and it's Him whom I try to please today.
It took two years for God to answer me and it was His perfect timing. You may have finished reading this just now and probably wonder if this is true. I assure you I wouldn't have wasted my time writing this if it were not. Jesus Christ is the answer, He is God!
In Service to My Lord,