As a young girl, Nada experienced domestic violence, witchcraft, and forced marriage. Surprisingly, after her brother came to live in Lebanon, she found herself following him into a church meeting. Impacted by a demonstration of real love and community, she gave her heart to Jesus. The result was a changed marriage, a renewed relationship with her mother, and the miraculous healing of her brother.
Nada’s story is featured on Women Of God, a TV program produced and funded by Horizons International. Women of God features interviews with Muslim women who share their experiences of persecution and suffering under Islam, and their stories and testimonies of how they have found freedom in Christ. This 13-episode show is aired in Muslim-majority countries through satellite TV, so that these women can share their stories with millions of people who also need Jesus.
Host: Nada, I welcome you in today’s episode. Tell me a bit about yourself; your childhood and how you lived.
Nada: My childhood was full of pain and agony. There was physical and emotional abuse, and witchcraft. My mother used to beat me up a lot. She never loved me.
Host: Tell me more about the magic. You said there was witchcraft. What do you mean by that?
Nada: I was 14 years old. I fell in love with my cousin. We got engaged. I was 14 as I mentioned, but my mother didn’t like her nephew. She always tried to keep us apart. She resorted to witchcraft to separate us. So, my fiancé came to Lebanon. He worked here.
At this point, I was 15 years old. We had been together for a year. He wanted to come to Syria so we could get married. Just a week before leaving Lebanon, a week before our wedding, he fell off from the 4th floor. My fiancé died. So I suspected this to be the result of my mother’s witchcraft. Because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t keep us apart except through magic.
Then my current mother-in-law came seeking a wife for her son in order for him to get married and settle down. So, she asked our neighbors about us. They said yes, that my family has girls. She came to my mother and asked for my hand in marriage to her son. I objected. However, my mom consented. Once the woman left, she beat me up. “Why did you do this? Whoever comes, you refuse!” I told her I didn’t want to get married. I still loved my fiancé.
Host: Okay, after this, you said you got married anyways? Correct?
Nada: We got married due to the witchcraft. My mom went to the Sheikh, she told him the story and he confirmed that I’d agree. She put a hex on him. I left his office feeling totally different. When I entered his office and smelled something weird.
Host: Okay, and after this, after you accepted getting married…
Nada: After drinking that cup, I was badly influenced. I felt that I was happy and glad. I told mom that I’d agree. He left the country and came back. Three months later we had our wedding.
The morning of my wedding, I came back to my senses. I felt awkward. I looked around. I said to myself, “What am I doing here? Who are you? How did you get here?”
Host: After your wedding, you were with your husband. How was your life together?
Nada: I became desperate. I hated my husband a lot. I actually despised him so much that I did not clean the house nor cook. I would cuss at him.
Host: Okay, you lived together in Lebanon. And then what happened?
Nada: We lived together in Lebanon. My brother came and lived with us in order to work and send money to my parents, to help them out some. I was his sister, but I had to play the role of his father, his entire family. I was responsible for him here. He took a job. He would start at 7:30 am, till 8 or 9 pm (at) the latest.
One time he stayed late till 10 pm. It was a Thursday. He stayed till 10. I asked him why he was late, he replied, “I was with my friends. We had a meeting.” I thought the meeting was an ordinary one.
Host: You didn’t pay much attention to it.
Nada: I didn’t think it was a service. I let it pass.
Host: Okay, and then?
Nada: Then, he was returning late more often. He spent a lot of time at the Center. I said, “I want to come along, meet your friends, and make sure they aren’t bad company or junkies”. He said okay. I went with him one Thursday at 6:30 pm to the church. I was only one among many veiled women there.
Host: When you entered the church, you saw veiled women?
Nada: When I entered the church, almost all the women were veiled. A brother was singing the hymn “I need Your Spirit’s touch”. I felt as if these words “Your Spirit’s touch” were meant for me. They would say that the Lord is God. I’d think, “How could Prophet Isa be God? How could they think so? Could this be possible? Prophet Isa is just another prophet, like all the rest! He died too.”
They’d also say that He died on the cross on our behalf and rose on the third day. That’s impossible – that a prophet would rise up on the third day after being crucified. No way.
Host: Okay, and later on, what happened? You attended church again more often as you were saying?
Nada: Yes, I went back there many times.
Host: What was pushing you to go to church if you didn’t want to believe in Christ?
Nada: Honestly? I used to curse at Christians a lot. I’d humiliate them. I’d persecute them. But what attracted me? I liked that they’d see an outsider coming to church, they’d hug her as if they knew her a long time ago. I witnessed the love, the peace, the security. I saw trust among them as if they were one family.
Host: What was the change that occurred after you believed in Christ? In you, and those around you – your family and husband?
Nada: When I met Christ, I became different with my husband. I loved him a lot because now Jesus was in my life. I started respecting him a lot because Jesus was in my heart.
Host: You told me also that you forgave your mother and her life changed too? Tell us more.
Nada: My brother was ill. She told me that my brother is really sick and has high fever and they’re taking him to the hospital. I told her, “Look, if you believe in Christ, say: Lord, I surrender my son into Your hands and You can heal him. Just say this.” She said “No, I refuse. I don’t want to believe”.
But later on, she said: “Lord, I’d believe in You if You’d just heal my son”. My mom woke up the next morning and saw my brother walking as if nothing was wrong.
Host: Your brother was healed?
Nada: My brother was healed in the name of Jesus.
Host: And your mom believed?
Nada: She called me and said, “Your God healed my son”. I said yes! You just had to believe in Christ for him to get healed. He performs many miracles. So, she said, “I believe in your God”. I replied, “Amen”.
Host: Nice. So, you forgave her? You told me that.
Nada: Before any of this happened, I told her, “I forgive you”. Although, prior to Christ, I’d wish her dead, hold grudges against her and curse her. This is how I addressed her. She was blinded. She’d say, “Okay, whatever” and hang up. But when I accepted Christ, as soon as she called, and for the first time ever, I told her I forgave her.