Editor’s note: The information for this story is provided by Bibles for Mideast, an underground ministry focusing on Bible distribution, evangelism and house-church planting in the Middle East, South Asia and parts of Africa.
Shortly after a prayer service dedicated to her healing, Naseema, a 22-year-old woman in South Asia who last walked and talked when she was 6 years old, asked for help to sit up.
Then she stood and walked toward others in the room.
And in a short time, she was dancing, according to Bibles for Mideast, an underground ministry that distributes Bibles in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Within days, a Christian home church was launched in the house she shares with her parents, even though they had recently been dedicated Muslims, the ministry reported.
The story began about 16 years ago when Naseema was a child. Her mother prepared snacks and bakery items and her father peddled them door-to-door.
One day when she arrived home from school, she was breathless, shivering and terrified.
“She managed to explain to her parents she had been running for her life from a stray dog who had chased her most of the way. She didn’t seem to have been bitten, but when the shaking increased and she developed a fever, her parents rushed her to hospital,” the ministry said.
Her fever and seizures got worse, and doctors were mystified. They considered polio, or bleeding in her brain, but never reached a definitive diagnosis.
“Soon she could no longer sit up, unable to balance her head or body, and became completely bedridden,” the ministry said.
That was her life for the next 16 years, even though her parents visited countless Muslim pilgrimage sites to offer prayers.
“Last year, Pastor Ishaq of Bibles for Mideast, who regularly ministers in the region and had heard about the sick young woman, visited the family with his gospel team. He asked permission to pray for her, but her parents, dedicated Muslims, would not allow it. Christians were hated enemies, after all. The team left a sample gospel outside the house as they left.”
Twice more the minister came and offered to pray, each time being met with increasing hostility. The last time, neighbors gathered with sticks and weapons.
“We have just come to pray for Naseema,” Pastor Ishaq said. “We believe our Lord Jesus Christ can heal her.”
Then, only a short time ago, a car ran into Naseema’s father while he was crossing a road.
Pastor Ishaq and his assistant “just happened” to be by the same roadside and witnessed the accident. They rushed to help the injured man get off the road and administered first aid, the ministry explained.
They offered to take him to the hospital but gave in to his request to be taken home.
“It is because of [God’s] love that we love you and are praying for you,” the pastor explained.
Naseema’s mother invited them inside when they reached the home and allowed prayer by the Christians.
Pastor Paul, the head of Bibles for Mideast, arrived later.
Shortly after, as they continued to pray, Naseema began talking and stood up and walked, the ministry said.
“News of the miracle began to spread. The next day, one of the neighboring families joined in the prayer and fasting. By the third day, two more families and some other Muslim individuals had come along to take part” in the new house church.