Martin grew up in a military family that left him with an unfavorable outlook of Muslims. He considered them to be terrorists bent on destroying the values he considered precious. When he enlisted in the military, he began to see first-hand the violence and death that radical Islam promoted.
While serving oversees, his heart began to harden toward Muslims. Surrounded by daily attacks, he could only view them as the enemy that must be eliminated. But it was when he returned home and the attacks began to affect his civilian life that hate began to overtake his heart.
He and his wife had finally achieved their dream of opening their own business. While it was a tough road, they were beginning to see returns on their hard work. But then the 9/11 attacks happened. As the towers collapsed, the economy wasn’t far behind. With Americans suddenly too terrified to spend any money, Martin and his wife watched hopelessly as their dreams were destroyed.
Hate began to fester in Martin’s heart as he blamed Muslims for the sudden downturn in his life. Yet God would not allow a heart of bitterness to flourish. At a weekly Bible study, the leader asked each person to draw a piece of paper from a hat as he posed the question, “What do you think God would have to do to get you to forgive this type of person?”
Martin opened his paper and scowled as he read the word “Terrorist.” He crumpled the paper and snapped at his leader, “I can’t believe you did this to me!” He stormed out of the room, but the question continued to haunt him.
Was it possible to look at Muslims through the eyes of Christ? As he continued to wrestle with the growing conviction, a friend told him about Crescent Project, a ministry that reaches out to Muslims in America. Wary, but knowing it was no coincidence his friend had mentioned Crescent Project, he signed up for their training program.
Martin found his heart transformed. As God tenderly began to mend the raw wounds of his heart, his eyes were opened to the fact that Muslims were people just like him. Very few were terrorists, and the rest were trapped in a broken worldview but doing their best to survive in a hopeless religious system. He began to see them through the eyes of Christ.
God didn’t stop with the transformation of Martin’s heart, though. It wasn’t long after that Martin met a Muslim man and gave him an Arabic Bible. The man took it and said: “I have never seen one of these before. I will take it home and share it with my wife.”
Since then, the Lord has continued to stir Martin’s heart toward Muslim outreach. As a member of the military, he must continue to view terrorists as the enemy. But Martin has come to an important conclusion: “The only way to combat Islam is through Christ. The best way I can secure America’s freedom isn’t by putting on this uniform, but going out there and telling people about Jesus.”