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God’s Word to an Iraqi Interpreter

Abbas Hameed grew up in Iraq in an untraditional family. His mother was Muslim and his father was Catholic and a wealthy businessman. When Hameed was about eight-years-old it was discovered that his father had not finished his military service and as punishment, he was sentenced to one year in an underground prison. There he endured complete darkness, except for two minutes above ground each day. Broken from suffering, he grew desperate and cried out to God.

Hameed writes:

God began profoundly changing my father’s heart. My family noticed a huge difference when he returned from prison. He became less selfish and an overall happier man who always had a smile on his face. As an example, we ran into a homeless man wearing tattered clothing. My father had compassion for this man and, stripping down to his underwear, gave away the clothes he was wearing. He said, “He needs these clothes more than I do.” I stood in shock because of his generosity. I knew then that my father’s life had been forever changed.

In March 2003 American soldiers invaded Iraq. Hameed decided to join the United States military police. He worked as a security officer and also as an interpreter. A few months later, he was chosen for US SWAT training.

Hameed said:

In the spring of 2005, I was assigned to inspect suspicious vehicles. One such vehicle came in my direction. I motioned for it to stop, but the car suddenly detonated. I flew into the air, fell to the ground, and crawled to a curb where I shielded myself from shrapnel. I looked around and noticed the suicide bomber’s limbs scattered around. It was a brutal, bloody, disgusting scene. While waiting in the hospital for an evaluation, I reflected on what had happened that day. I felt certain that the God who created heaven and earth was responsible for saving my life.

In 2007 Hameed met Sgt. Scott Young and realized there was something different about him. He was always reading his Bible. Hameed also began reading the Bible and asking Scott questions. He went to Scott and told him that “I didn’t want to be me anymore. He asked, ‘How can I become a Christian?’” Scott told him to go into a quiet place and pray.

Hameed prayed a heartfelt prayer. “I asked Jesus to come into my life and change me, that I might be embraced as God’s son. The next morning, the whole military company noticed a change, just like the change in my father after his own conversion. God had worked a huge and powerful transformation.”

Hameed says,

Today, I live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with my wife and children. I began Hameed Christian Ministries and share my testimony at churches and military bases, and with veterans’ groups, I give praise and thanks to God for saving my life—and drawing me near.

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