On Saturday night, January 3, 2009, Rachelle and I watched the FOX News Special Report entitled Escape from Hamas. You may see the FOX broadcast in six YouTube videos already posted on the web. This documentary focused on the extraordinary conversion to Christianity of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son Sheikh Hassan Yousef, the founder of Hamas. It seems that Yousef (he prefers to be called "Joseph") was led to examine Christianity by a Christian tourist in Jerusalem who took the time to witness to him. Joseph's account on FOX of how he came to faith in Christ, his bold and direct denunciation of Islam and the violence associated with the Koran, and his desire to see his Muslim brothers come to faith in Christ made for extraordinary must see T.V.
A short video about Joseph can be seen here. FOX reported that Joseph's Christian friends are from Barabbas Road Church in LaJolla, California. Barrabas Road is a Southern Baptist Church, and the pastor of Barrabas, Matt Smith, baptized Yousef in the Pacific Ocean. Baptist Press has already issued a feature story on Joseph's life and conversion. Barabbas Road is now assisting Joseph as he seeks to obtain political asylum in the United States. Our church, Emmanuel Baptist Church, has invited Joseph to come to Oklahoma, and we are now working out the details for his visit.
On this Lord's Day, I am grateful for Southern Baptists and the strong evangelistic emphasis in churches like Barabbas Road. Though we as a Convention have made many mistakes, there are some things that we Southern Baptists do very well, particularly missions and evangelism. We understand that what will ultimately change the world for the better is the tranforming power of Jesus Christ - experienced one life at a time. There is a death sentence on Joseph, issued by Al Qaeda, but we believe that God has purposed to use Joseph to lead millions of Muslims to faith in Jesus Christ through his testimony.
Joseph, we are praying for you.
In His Grace,