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What Happened to Rifqa Bary? How This Persecuted Ex-Muslim and Others Found Strength to 'Rise Up!'

What Happened to Rifqa Bary? How This Persecuted Ex-Muslim and Others Found Strength to 'Rise Up!' Read Transcript

(opening music)

- Where is God when yourworld is falling apart?

Do you feel like he's not listening or

doesn't care about yoursituation or circumstance?

In CBN's newest book "Rise UpStories of Remarkable Faith

and Relentless Courage," you'llread about ordinary people

whose circumstances causedthem to fall into God's hands.

And who were given the faith and courage

to rise above their trials.

Well, joining me totalk more about this is

one of the editors of the book,

CBN's Senior InternationalCorrespondent, George Thomas.

George, thanks for being with us.

- You're welcome. Thank you.

- What was the inspirationbehind this book.

- Well, Gary, you and Ihave the enormous privilege

to travel around this beautifulcountry, around the world.

Not just you, but somany of us here at CBN,

whether it's in the News Department,

or the 700 Club, or Features.

We travel, literally to thefour corners of this world.

And, we're scouring theearth for inspiring stories.

Stories of ordinary people whoface incredible situations,

life changing, lifealtering circumstances,

yet in the moment of crisis,they have this moment.

They say am I going tocompletely give up on life?

Do I take my life? Do Igo into a drug overdose?

Do I drink myself todeath? Do I shoot myself?

But then they have thismoment, this epiphany moment.

In those epiphany moments,it's God revealing himself

to an individual andsaying, listen hold on.

- [Gary] Who are some of thepeople you are referring to?

- I mean, we go around the world.

- [George] We've got thestory of Majid Al Shafi,

this Egyptian young man whowas persecuted for his faith.

He came from a Muslim background.

You know of his story.

- [Gary] Yes.

- [George] In Egypt,originally from Egypt.

Ended up languishing inan Egyptian cell because

of his faith and through adramatic set of circumstances,

was able to escape from the prison.

- We've got the story ofCody Huff, a gentleman from

- [George] the streets ofLas Vegas who found himself

out on the streets of Las Vegas,eating out of garbage cans,

was completely hopeless, found himself

going down the road of drugs and alcohol.

And in the process, he went to church.

And this young lady decidedhe was dirty, he was smelly,

he hadn't taken a bathin such a long time.

And this lady, who had compassion,walked up to him, Gary,

and said, "Cody, you need a hug."

And he was so takenaback by this, and said,

"No, I'm dirty, I'msmelly, I haven't eaten,

I haven't taken a bath.

She said, "No, that's okay,I'm going to hug you."

And that hug changed his life.

- [Gary] Wow. One hug.

- [George] One hug.

- And we have the storyof Rifka Barry, who, many,

many years ago here in theUnited States, was originally

from Pakistan, had anencounter with Jesus Christ.

She was from a Muslim background and

she was here in the United States and

she decided to give herlife to Jesus Christ.

And in the process, she was ostracized.

You know, you hear thesestories of persecution

in other parts of the world,but here in the United States.

In Florida, a father andmother decide to disown

their beautiful daughter. Why?

Because she decided toabandon Islam and to accept

Jesus Christ and she facedtremendous persecution.

We have her story. We have astory of a well-known Dallas

District Attorney who seemedto have the perfect life.

She had the perfect life,perfect career, perfect house.

Everything was going well until one day

she has this dramatic fall,hits her head on the pavement

and she's in a coma forseveral weeks. She's paralyzed.

There was no hope, butthe Church came around.

Her friends came around, prayed for her.

And today she is well, completely healed.

- [Gary] Was there ever atime when you saw God work

in the middle of an overwhelmingcrisis in your own life?

- Yeah, How much timedo we have on this show?

(Gary laughs)

How much time can you give me, Gary?

It's countless. I cannot count on my fingers.

- Well, give us one.

- I've faced down the barrelof an AK-47 put to my temple.

- [George] About a yearago, I was in South Sudan

and surrounded by SPLA soldiers,

one of whom who had just massacred,

murdered two individuals,innocent farmers.

We witnessed it andthey realized that there

was a journalist in theirmidst who had documented it.

- Came and surrounded byaround 70 to 75 SPLA soldiers

with another missionary couple,

out in the middle of nowhereand we're a liability.

And in the process, I called back to CBN,

called our boss, asked for prayer.

Called my family, asked for prayer.

Whether it's in Afghanistan,Iraq, Syria, Somalia,

there have numerousoccasions where, you know,

I would not be sitting at this table and

I'm sure, Gary, you can testify.

- [Gary] Certainly.

- I would not be sitting at this table,

if it had not been for theprayers of my colleagues,

my family, friends around theworld, who have interceded at

different, critical moments,traveling overseas and

facing the enemy in differentsituations and circumstances.

I know for certain thatprayer was a key in that and

- [George] it helped to providethe way out in a situation

- [Gary] So what inspired you, George,

to be a part of this project?

- [George] Well, it'sexciting because every day,

we get to tell these amazingstories from around the world.

And we thought, what a betterway, to put this in a book

form, so that people canbe constantly reminded.

Okay, sure, you can go to your app,

you can watch the stories,the incredible testimonies

from the 700 Club, from CBNNews, from interactive features,

and so forth, but we thought,you know, what a great way,

almost as a coffee table reminder.

Here's this book, storiesof faith in the midst of

tremendous trial and tribulation.

- [George] I hope that when you read this,

you will find inspiration.

You will see the pages ofthese ordinary men and women,

who exercised courage in theface of death, sometimes.

Who exercised faith whenthey had no faith, they took

- a mustard seed andsaid, "Christ, Lord Jesus

would you take my faith?",which seems so insignificant.

It does not seem completely sold out.

Yet, I have a littlemustard grain of faith,

will you take it and do what you can.

And so, that's what I hope.

I hope that people will seethat through the eyes, and

through the testimony of theseincredible men and women,

that whatever circumstanceyou face today in life,

that you would give Jesus a chance and

you would put him to thetest and watch him show up.

- And I've had so many people say,

- [Gary] "Well, I haveto clean up my act".

- [George] That's right, no you don't.

- [Gary] You know what I say to them?

The only Mr. Clean is Jesus.

- [George] Exactly.

- [Gary] He's the only onewho can clean you up enough.

- [George] That's right.

- [Gary] Because you can never do enough.

- And it's like that famoussong that Billy Graham

would close his crusades around the world,

the song, Just as I

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