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