Wissam Al-Aethawi: Baghdad to Detroit

Sunday, Sept 13, 2015, 9 AM – “Hebrews 4 and the Christian Repose”

Sunday, Sept 13, 2015, 10 AM – “Public Worship and Us”

Sunday, Sept 13, 2015, 6 PM – “Abraham, Muhammad and the Golden Butterfly”

Sunday, Sept 13, 2015, 7 PM – “Islam: The Untold Story”

Monday, Sept 14, 2015, 7 PM – “Islam Myth Buster”

Tuesday, Sept 15, 2015, 7 PM – “For We Do Not Wrestle”

Wednesday, Sept 16, 2015, 7 PM – “Baghdad to Detroit”

Guest Speaker: Wissam Youssif

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DES MOINES, IOWA — “Baghdad to Detroit” coming Sunday, Sept. 13 – Wissam Youssif will tell the story of why as an Iraqi native he first left the Muslim religion, became an athiest, and finally a Christian.  He now teaches Muslims in Detroit, Michigan about the love of Jesus and the Christian faith. Wissam begins Sunday and will speak each evening thru Wednesday, Sept. 16 at the Grandview Church of Christ at 2736 Hubbell Ave in Des Moines.

Raised as a Muslim in Baghdad, Iraq and trained as a civil engineer, Youssif now shares the Gospel of Christ with the largest concentration of Muslims living outside of the Middle East: The Detroit, Michigan area.  Youssif tells of growing up during the Iran-Iraq War, and the resulting sanctions against Iraq during the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein.  Wissam describes the Muslim culture as “a world without love, forgiveness, and tolerance.” The Koran was required reading in schools: “The culture of Islam abducted the Muslim people,” says Youssif.

A crucial moment in his life happend in 1996, when his four-year-old sister died suddenly. His distraught mother, looking for comfort, was met with, “She will be judged for the very first breath she took in when she was born.” His mother found no comfort in those words.  Shortly thereafter his uncle, diagnosed with cancer, struggled with not being able to pray five times a day as required by Islam. Says Youssif, “My uncle died without hope.”

Doubts about the teachings of the Koran grew in Youssif’s mind. During college, he began to wonder if his whole world was filled with lies. He turned to books. Often the books he read mentioned the Holy Bible. He obtained an Arabic translation of the Gospel of John at a flea market. In it Youssif read how Jesus dealt with religious authorities, calling them hypocrites and liars, and he was struck: “That does not exist in Islam. You are not allowed to question religious authorities.”

On another trip to the flea market he found and purchased an entire New Testament. He came to realize that the first book he bought was a book within a book. He borrowed money from his cousin to purchase an entire Bible.

Youssif became a secret believer in Jesus Christ, and while reading the Bible decided that he needed to be baptized in order to be saved. For the next 12 years he contacted Christian churches in Baghdad to see if someone would baptize him. They would not. When Americans liberated Baghdad, he was finally able to reach the outside world via an internet cafe and a few coins. Through that medium he met a man who was willing to come to Iraq to baptize him.

Come hear the rest of his story, including “Islam: The Untold Story”, “Islam Myth Buster”, and “From Baghdad to Detroit”.

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Quest for Authentic Manhood

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