From Criminal to Christian

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By Beth Ross | 17 May 2017

After a lifetime of crime, abuse and darkness, Tajib* described himself as the “epitome of evil”. But in a moment, when Tajib discovered Jesus, his life was changed. Tajib’s story proves the love of God can melt any hardened, broken heart in a moment, and transform it into a vessel of His love and light.

How Life Became So Dark

Tajib* was born into ridicule and persecution - but because of something completely out of his control. Tajib was born deaf. In his Muslim community people with a disability were told they brought shame on their family. Some were bullied and mocked, whilst almost all of them struggled to find employment. Tajib understood from a young age what life that awaited him.

He was told nobody would ever hire “such people” and believed his chance to marry and provide for a family were slim. The thought of always living in poverty was unbearable, so Tajib took matters into his own hands. Tajib and his ‘friends’ began to exploit those in the deaf community around them, forcing them to give up a percentage of all their earnings. Before long, Tajib was the head of the gang.

“I was the epitome of evil in my past life,” he shared. “I thought I could hurt people and use them for my benefit, justifying my actions with the fact that I am handicapped, but Jesus has changed my vision.”

Jesus Changed Everything

After a lifetime of pain and crime, it was in one moment, in a secret meeting, that everything changed. A group of missionaries came to town and Tajib went to their meeting. The moment Tajib discovered the love and sacrifice of Jesus for himself, he decided to follow Him. Immediately he gave up his life of crime and began actively sharing the gospel in his town.

“Tajib was always so rude and cruel that his conversion became a great miracle for our family and for the deaf community of our town and district,” his wife shared. “Many deaf and even ‘hearing’ people came to faith because of him.”


Image: Women in the markets in Central Asia

The Persecution

This new found faith, however, did not sit well with Tajib’s gang members. They demanded that he stopped following Christ. Tajib faced many challenges including being robbed and threatened. At one point, his wife and children were kidnapped. Their captors threatened to kill them if Tajib didn’t deny Jesus, but nothing could stop Tajib from following Christ.

“I knew that they would actually follow through with their threats,” he said. “I was among them for many years, but I was ready to pay the price because I couldn’t live without Christ. I believed that God would protect us.”

Open Doors and many other believers began to pray for Tajib. He was able to rescue his family but a new challenge awaited them. Since Tajib had left his life of crime, he no longer had a way to make money. His family had to live off his disability pension of $20 a month – less than 70 cents a day. He managed to find work at a key workshop, but Tajib had to pay the owner 90 cents for every dollar he received. His family got $200 a month, but it still wasn’t enough to survive. Tajib and a few other believers began to pray about purchasing their own key making machine. Open Doors heard about the situation and provided them with a loan.


Image: Two men in a street in Central Asia

How Your Help Made A Difference

Tajib’s wife said, “You should have seen his face when he heard about this. It was a joyful and happy event for him. He was so appreciative. He entered his room and was praying and praising God for hours.”

Having already paid back the loan, Tajib is now able to support his family, something he believed he would never be able to do. He is even able to use some of his income to support his ministry- evangelising to the deaf community. Every week Tajib goes out with other believers and shares the gospel in secret churches and home groups.

“There are already more than 150 groups of deaf people in my country, many of them are in very remote areas and the number is increasing,” Tajib said. “And when I preach to them, they accept Christ in large numbers.”

Tajib has begun employing deaf people in his workshop with the hope of empowering them to start workshops and businesses of their own.

* Name changed for security purposes

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