Risking her life for Jesus
Twelve-year old Zeba lived in Pakistan, a Muslim nation that persecuted Christians. Unlike most of her neighbors, the young girl knew Jesus and wanted to be faithful to Him. She knew it could be hard. Many other Christians who had refused to conform to Islam, the national religion, had faced terrible torture and death.
Since her family was very poor, Zeba had to work for a rich Muslim family. Her boss didn't want his young servant to trust Jesus, so he tried to convert her to Islam. But Zeba knew in her heart that his beliefs didn't fit the wonderful truths she had learned from the Bible. So she refused to memorize the verses he gave her from the Koran, the Muslim holy book. Her choice made her boss angry, and he beat her.
After her third beating, Zeba told her mother what had happened. Afraid for her daughter's safety, the mother went to see the heartless master of the house. He met her outside to hear why she had come.
As she described her daughter's struggles, the man became more and more angry. Finally, he began to slap and kick the mother until she fell down unconscious. He then poured fuel over her body, lit a match and set her on fire. She died in the flames, a victim of the world's timeless hatred toward those who love God.
Today, Zeba misses her mother terribly. But she knows that Jesus is with her each day. In her loneliness, she has come even closer to Him.
She doesn't hate the Muslims for what they did to her family. That's because God has filled her heart with His love for them.
Zeba longs to share her faith with the people of Pakistan. She hopes that if the Muslims can see the love of Jesus in her, many will want to know and follow Him. She is not afraid, for she knows that no matter what happens, she will be forever with her wonderful Shepherd.
"When you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously." 1 Peter 2:20-23
Let's talk about it.
1. Why did Zeba have to serve the Muslim family?
2. Why did her boss beat her?
3. What does 1 Peter 2:20-23 tell us about suffering?
4. What does 1 Peter 4:12-14 promise those who trust and follow God?
"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christís sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you...." 1 Peter 4:12-14
This true story about Zeba's love for God was first reported in the Voice of the Martyrs' "2000 Special Issue" titled "Faces of Persecution." VOM asks that we:
Pray for safety for Christians in Pakistan.
Send a gift for the Pakistan medical ministry, the Families of Martyrs fund, or for vocational training to help Christians in Pakistan get better jobs (many are forced because of the faith to be street sweepers or brick kiln workers, jobs that pay only about $1 per day).
Contact Voice of the Martyrs for the prisoner list and write letters to Christians in prison in Pakistan.