Dear Reader Friends, this is David Telbat. This short story of “Sister Sabeela, Wife Four in Syria,” is the story of many Syrian women who are secretly coming to Christ in the Middle East. Great tragedy may be reported on the news, but Bibles delivered into these unwelcoming areas are being read. Hearts are being softened. May this story remind you to pray for them!
Sister Sabeela, Wife Four in Syria
by D.I. Telbat
Sabeela was the fourth wife of Sheik Ahmad Zeyadeh when she first read the Bible. Born in Israel’s West Bank, her father married her off for a price to a Syrian militant devoted to Allah. But once Sabeela read the Bible while in hiding, her perception changed from one of bondage to one of victory and hope.
Following her husband around Syria’s battlefield was anything but pleasant for Sabeela. For one-week spells, she camped with other wives, then moved from one bombed-out town to the next disaster area. Water was scarce. Electricity was nonexistent. But the song in her heart was overflowing.
Some nights, her husband didn’t return to camp. Since he was a war commander as well as a spiritual leader, his input on fighting strategy was necessary for his ISIS wing. When he did return to her, he was often covered in dust and blood. Whether it was the blood of his comrades or of his victims, Sabeela never knew and never asked. But she did know about the blood of Christ, that it was shed for the forgiveness of sins—even those of her husband.
The wives of the other militants who fought beside her husband were weary and heavy-laden, as she had once been. They were overwhelmed by their husbands’ religious zeal and burdened by their hopeless existence for a god who terrified them even more than their spouses did. But quietly, Sabeela shared her hope with them—hope of a Savior who loved them and could bring them everlasting peace.
Sabeela was just one of God’s children in Syria. She believed her Savior was above her circumstances, and since Jesus had died and then rose from the dead for her, Sabeela knew she would live for Him forever.
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