Darius grew up as a Muslim in a country where following Jesus as Lord is illegal. Darius was a seeker of God and read many religious books, including the Quran and the Bible. During a season of his life, Darius began reading the Bible for long hours. One day, he was reading the book of John when he saw Jesus’s words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He was shocked! He believed that the Bible was a holy book from God, but this verse contradicted the Quran that said Jesus was only a prophet, and Muhammad taught the only way to God. So he prayed, “God, I must know the truth. Is this true that Jesus is the only way?” Suddenly, the room filled with a gold light, and Darius went into a trance for a long time. During his trance, Darius heard Jesus say to him that yes, Jesus is the way and that Darius was to follow him.
When Darius awoke, he didn’t know if what had happened was true or just a dream. So he prayed to God for some kind of confirmation, for he knew that putting his faith in Jesus meant being rejected by Islamic society, possible imprisonment, and even death. And if Darius was wrong about Jesus, then spiritually he would go to hell, according to the Quran. He began fasting for several days so that God would show him the truth. He said to God, “Show me something. Show me in my heart!” Immediately, a warm sensation touched Darius’s arm, and it traveled all the way to his chest and exploded in his heart. At that moment Darius knew that God had spoken to him, and he put his faith in Jesus.
There was no church for Darius to attend, so he spent time with Jesus reading the Bible and praying. During that time, Jesus spoke to Darius and told him that if he began sharing his faith online, he would help Darius to build churches. So Darius began reaching out on the internet and found men around the country to study the Bible with him. He traveled across the country to give them Bibles and even baptize them! At some point, Darius connected to a local house church and began serving in a large ministry, planting churches and traveling around the country delivering Bibles, risking his life. At some time, Darius was reported to the police for his religious activity, and the government began looking for him.
One day, Darius and his friend were traveling on motorcycles carrying hidden Bibles. The police spotted the two men, recognized Darius, and began coming after them. Darius and his friend sped through a forest, but his friend crashed on his bike, breaking his ankle. For a minute, Darius thought, “I need to run, or I’ll get caught!” But he couldn’t leave his friend alone to be battered by the police. So Darius returned to his friend and the two were beaten. His friend was beaten so badly that he died, while Darius was beaten beyond recognition.
The police covered Darius’s face with a bag, placed him in a car, and drove him to a prison far away. Along the way, Darius began to pray aloud for the officers. The officer in the front shouted, “Shut up! Shut up!” But the officer in the back said, “No! Let him pray. I need prayers!” When they arrived at the prison, Darius was locked away in a small prison room with twenty-five men and no bathroom. Meals were few and some caused the men to get sick. They were only allowed to go to the bathrooms three times a day, so you can imagine the smell and filth in this tiny prison room.
Darius was interrogated for many nights. During one of the interrogations, one of the investigators began asking questions to Darius about the Bible. At that moment, the Lord opened the door for Darius to share his faith. After remaining in prison for over a month, Darius’s family was able to gather almost $20,000 to release him from prison, and he escaped from his country with just the shirt on his back. Miraculously, he encountered the church and began sharing his faith and planting churches again. Today, Darius continues planting online churches throughout the Middle East, even though his family back home is continually interrogated by local intelligence service. Praise to God that Darius’s family still supports his service to the Lord, and they all are putting their trust in Jesus for their eternal future, rather than what happens on this earth.