Ahmed was born in 1969 in Alexandria, Egypt to a devout Muslim family. In college, he co-founded the Voice of America radio station fan club. After serving in the military, he began preparing to be a Muslim apologist. Because of his work with Voice of America, he was given a grant to come to Washington, D.C.
Meeting Christians in America
In D.C., Ahmed met three people in a car asking for directions. After speaking with them, they recognized his Egyptian accent and began to speak to him in Arabic. They were Middle Eastern Americans from Chicago, and they invited Ahmed to have lunch with them. During lunch, Ahmed mentioned his passion for reading, so they gave him Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Later when Ahmed read the book, he felt it was blasphemous and was enraged. He shredded the book apart and mailed it to them, along with every curse word he knew in English. Ahmed was shocked when he received a phone call from them — they weren’t angry at all! They were just happy he read the book and appreciated the comments he wrote in between swear words. The Christians invited him to visit them in Chicago. He accepted their invitation, determined to convert them into Muslims.
Preaching to His Friends
Ahmed would daydream about the day his friends would become Muslims and they’d all set their heathen Bibles on fire. His friends continued to be kind and hospitable. They would ask him questions about his religion and to save face, he would lie if he didn’t know the answer. When his friends couldn’t answer a question of his about Christianity, they would admit they didn’t know the answer, apologize, and promise him that they’d find the answer soon. He was astonished by their humility and honesty.
Moving to Chicago
His friends eventually helped him move to Chicago and find a job. There, he bought the cheapest Bible he could find and met weekly with them. But his life was becoming stressful. He was promoted at work which caused tension with his co-workers, he was studying the Quran and Bible like a mad man, and he was now seeing contradictions and errors in the Quran that deeply troubled his soul. His imam told him not to ask questions and to only believe. Unfortunately, Ahmed was becoming an atheist.
A Ride from a Stranger
Completely overwhelmed with life, Ahmed once angrily stormed out of work. Out in the freezing snow, he realized he’d left his coat inside but was too prideful to go back and get it. He was beginning to go numb from the cold when a man in a pickup truck offered him a ride home. In the truck, Ahmed fell asleep and was woken up by the driver, parked in front of Ahmed’s home. The driver told Ahmed Jesus loved him! Ahmed tried to get inside his apartment, but it was locked and he realized he left his key in his coat at work. The driver told Ahmed to not be afraid and go inside. Confused, Ahmed miraculously opened the door. When he turned around, the driver was gone and there were no tire prints in the snow. Once inside, Ahmed verified that the door was indeed locked. He also realized he had never told the driver where he lived.
Wrestling with God
Ahmed felt he was losing his mind. His friends were concerned, which was odd because no one other than his family had cared for Ahmed. He told them that he no longer believed in any God and that if God wanted him, He’d have to knock right on his door. He was flabbergasted when they showed him Revelations 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Ahmed began hearing a voice telling him to do strange things like apologize to his co-workers. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t ignore the voice. He obeyed the voice and peace overcame him.
A Voice That Cried Out
Ahmed suddenly had a hunger to read the Bible, and not just to debate it. While reading scripture, Ahmed was shocked at the words that came out of his mouth – he was praying to Jesus. At first, he covered his mouth in horror. But then he continued to pray to Jesus. He no longer felt scared or angry or overwhelmed. For the first time, he was joyful.
He called his friends who came over immediately. He told them he couldn’t understand what was happening, but their Lord was His Lord, and their Savior was His Savior. His friends explained the gospel to him and on July 1, 1997, Ahmed was saved.
Today, Ahmed goes by Paul Ameen. His focus is on Muslim-majority countries and countries closed to the gospel. His passion brought him to Missions Door in 2012 where he first used internet chat rooms to witness to Muslims and eventually used satellite television to reach the Islamic world. Paul wants people to know that Muslims are good people who want to be godly and worship God, but they are deceived. “These believers are so devoted to a god that’s far away,” he says. “Imagine how great Christians they will be when they come to worship the true God who loves them and is close by.” He says that it was not debates and arguments but the love and kindness of his friends that led him to God’s grace.
You can donate to Paul’s ministry on his page, here.
How Can You Help
The Great Commission is what spurs us to do indigenous ministry. Around the world, Christians are bringing the Gospel to their people and making disciples in their hometowns. How will you be a part of this?