We all know how dangerous it is when a Palestinian boy becomes a Radical Muslim and a devout follower of jihad. But have you ever stopped to consider just how beautiful — indeed, miraculous — it is when a Palestinian boy becomes a Revivalist and a devout follower of Jesus instead?
A fascinating new book — My Enemy, My Brother — has just been published that was written by a Palestinian man who was born and raised in Jerusalem. You’re not likely to hear about it on the Today show or Good Morning America. But I commend to your attention. I have known the author, Hanna Shahin, for nearly two decades, and I can tell you first hand that his is an extraordinary and must-read story. During the 1967 war, as the fighting between Jordanians and Israelis was at its most intense in the battle for the Holy City, Hanna begged God to save all the members of his family from death, and if God did that, he promised to serve the Lord in full-time ministry for the rest of his life. In a series of gripping events that Hanna shares in the book, the Lord heard that prayer and answered it in an amazing way. In time, Hanna went on not only to become a minister of the gospel, but one of the most influential Revivalists in the region, using the power of radio broadcasting to beam the good news of Jesus’ love and mercy to untold Muslims and nominal Christians throughout the epicenter.
It was my honor to write the foreword to this book at Hanna’s request, and I have included it here to give you a sense of the man and his message. I hope you will pick up a copy from Amazon or your favorite Christian bookstore, as well as share one with a friend.
FOREWORD TO MY ENEMY, MY BROTHER
The book you hold in your hands is, at its core, a love story – one of the most beautiful and powerful I have ever read.
It is the story of God’s extraordinary love for a Palestinian boy in Jerusalem, a boy who grew up lonely and sad and afraid until one day Jesus Christ personally reached out and took this little boy into His arms and told him, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
It is the story of a young man who becomes transformed by Christ’s love, a young man both called and compelled to share the good news of that powerful love and amazing grace with his fellow Palestinians, and eventually with the entire Arabic speaking world.
It is a story I suspect will touch your heart as it has touched mine, and my hope is that it will move you not only to pray faithfully for Hanna and his family and his team, but also for the Palestinian people and the entire Muslim world that all might know Jesus Christ in a real and personal way.
I first met Hanna Shahin nearly two decades ago at a church conference in the Washington, D.C. area. He and his Egyptian-born wife, Evelyn, had come to talk about how powerfully Christ was moving among Muslims, drawing them into a personal relationship with Him in numbers never before seen in human history. The Shahins explained how God was using radio broadcasting to beam the gospel message over the heads of the Arab governments who opposed the message and into the hearts of Arab men, women and children so hungry and thirsty to know that Christ really loved them and had a wonderful plan and purpose for their lives.
My wife, Lynn, and I were transfixed. We were newly married and new to Washington. We had long been fascinated with the history and future of the Middle East. But mostly what we knew was Jewish and Israeli history, given my Jewish roots. Honestly, we had never thought much about God’s specific love for Arabs. Neither of us had grown up to hate Arabs in general or Muslims in particular. But we hadn’t personally known any Palestinian or Egyptian followers of Christ. We hadn’t really studied the Scriptures carefully enough to see God’s love for Israel’s neighbors, and her enemies. But I believe the Lord brought the Shahins into our lives, in part, to help open our eyes.
We bonded quickly at that conference, and our friendship has grown and sweetened over the years. We have prayed for Hanna and Evelyn. We have invested in their ministry. We have wept with them when hardships have come. And we have rejoiced when the Lord done great and mighty things in and through their lives, which is often!
For years, I encouraged Hanna to carve out time from his schedule to write his story. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am now that he has. Indeed, I thought after all these years that I knew his story. But the truth is I have learned more about Hanna, more about Evelyn, and more about God’s love and mercy through this book than I could have imagined. I have been blessed. I know you will be, too.
When I think of Hanna, I often think of the words of Jesus in Matthew 23:37. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” From time immemorial, God has loved the people of Jerusalem. Tragically, the people of Jerusalem have not always loved Him.
This is the story of one son of Jerusalem who was willing to accept Christ’s love and be gathered to His heart. May his tribe increase.
Joel C. Rosenberg
June 1, 2009
UPDATE ON THE SEPT. 11th “NATIONAL TOWN HALL MEETING ON THE THREAT OF RADICAL ISLAM AND THE CHURCH’S RESPONSE”:
- 400 churches are now signed up to show a high-resolution webcast of the event
- More than 700 Christian radio stations have signed up to either air the 9/11 event live or tape delayed later in the week
- A number of Christian cable and satellite TV stations and networks are considering airing the 9/11 event as well.
- Individuals can watch on September 11 from 7pm to 9pm eastern at www.insidetherevolution.org
- Churches can still sign up for the event by clicking here
>> The Joshua Fund is committed to blessing Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus by praying for peace while preparing for when the next war strikes. A $50, $100, or $250 tax-deductible gift — or a $25 or $35 monthly contribution — will help us educate and mobilize Christians around the world to bless Israel in real and practical ways, and also help us provide food, clothing, medical supplies and other relief aid to those in need. The Lord says in Genesis 12:1-3 that those who bless the children of Abraham He will bless. Would you prayerfully consider joining us today?