"I was crying when the ambulance came and took my father far away from our home," Brother Nathan said recently during a book signing of his new release, Love Casts Out Fear: A Jihad Survivor's Journey From Revenge To Redemption" co-written by David Culross (BakerBooks).
Knew him as 'Baba'
Many would understand if 53 years later, Brother Nathan continued to nurse his fury and desire for revenge against the men who murdered his father he tenderly referred to as "Baba" but was known in the village as Pastor Latif.
Instead, Brother Nathan continues to live and operate a ministry in Egypt that requires him to keep his identity somewhat obscured, hence the reason for the oblique first name, Brother Nathan, that's without a surname. He and his wife, Susan, have three children, Maggie, Martin and Michael.
Since 1980, Islam became Egypt's official national religion.
Even so, Egypt still represents the largest Christian community in any Middle Eastern or North African country, where the majority of evangelical Christians live in southern Egypt.
Life not easy
"Life is not easy to be in ministry in a Muslim county like Egypt," Brother Nathan said. "And my story without Jesus is zero. I carry a message to people about the power of love and the power in forgiveness. In our area, fanatical Muslims burn many churches."
There are other heartaches Brother Nathan recounted as well, including the shooting death of an eight-year-old girl, Mary, inside a church.
"Those people are blind," Brother Nathan said. "Those people need to open their eyes."
The strength we have
The most effective way to change hearts is the same concept that worked for Brother Nathan to forgive his father's murderers: forgiveness.
"This is the strength we have: We are able to forgive," he said. "This is the reason many, many Muslim people come to obey and be followers of Christ."
It's for that reason why Brother Nathan cites in his book 1 John 4:18: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" (KJV).
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