George and Barbara Zarris Prayer Letter: I Once Was Blind!I ONCE WAS BLIND

Ali was a zealous Muslim, and like his father, who is the spiritual leader (Imam) of his own mosque, Ali was a staunch Muslim. Despite his blindness, Ali pursued his Islamic studies with a determination that made his parents proud. After years of repeating the obligatory prayers, memorizing the Koran, and observing the holy days, Ali earned the coveted title of sheikh (evangelist-promoter of Islam). True to his faith, Ali was ready to defend Islam against every evil onslaught that the insidious world of infidels could concoct.

Then it happened! A CRI Christian radio station in Africa began broadcasting a live, call-in, question-and-answer program called The People of the Book. Three times per week, the host compared the teaching of the Koran to the Bible and allowed listeners to ask questions or defend their beliefs on-air. An imam friend asked Ali to listen to the program, examine the Christian doctrine, and refute their teachings using the Koran. This was something Ali was well equipped to do—or so he thought!

For the next three months, Ali listened to the Christian station and diligently studied to rebut the Christian beliefs. He frequently called the program to defend Islamic theology and disparage Bible doctrines. On the outside, he argued with fervor and conviction, but on the inside, his Islamic faith began to erode.

The first thing Ali learned was that Christians were certain they were going to Heaven. “How could they possibly know that?” Ali wondered. “Even Mohammed said he had no certainty of Heaven, and he is the Great Prophet!” Subsequently, Ali was stunned to hear that Jesus PROMISED His followers eternal life in Heaven with Him. “. . . I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)

The more Ali heard the words of Jesus, the more his blind eyes could see that Jesus is the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. On August 28, 2021, on live radio, Ali did the unthinkable—he publicly prayed to receive Jesus as his Saviour on the air, while half a million people listened! (In 2021, 11 Muslims have professed faith in Christ publicly on this show!) That night, Ali led his wife to Christ. Oh, the sheer joy of finally KNOWING that they both had eternal life!

Ali’s ecstasy was short-lived. The next day, the rage and fury of the Islamic community descended upon him. His family disowned him. His friends rejected him. His work fired him. Driven from their home with only the clothes on their back, Ali, his wife, and their two young children sought refuge in a safe house for Muslim converts. His wife’s small business was confiscated, and the family income vanished. Relatives have relentlessly pressured her to divorce her husband. The final ultimatum—renounce Christianity within 14 days or face the consequences—has not shaken Ali. He just changed his name to Emmanuel: “God with us!”
What are Ali’s plans for the future? “As I was promoting Islam, I now want to promote Jesus Christ by becoming an evangelist and a Gospel musician. I want to learn more about the Bible.” Ali isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet. Two weeks after he was saved, Ali and his wife sang in church, a song they learned from the radio.

Ali, what would you like to tell American Christians? “You are serving the Living God! Be true to Him!”

Ali, you once were blind, but now you see!

Editor’s Note: Please pray for Ali’s safety and spiritual growth. The family needs about $225 per month to live. With an investment of $2,000, Ali’s wife could restart her business and make enough for the family to survive. If you want to help, please send your gift to Christian Radio International. Clearly label your gift—”Project Ali.”


Yohanna Update

Please pray for Yohanna (August 2021 Broadcaster). She is in severe pain with an inflamed gall bladder and kidneys. There is no money for surgery or medicines. Please pray for God to heal her miraculously.


Have Radio Will Travel

What do you do when you are a new missionary, in a new country, learning a new culture, and you want to witness? Missionary Jose Mojica had a great idea. He mounted a speaker on his car roof and broadcast CRI’s new Spanish radio station, La Luz Latina, from the roof. After several minutes, people gathered from nearby houses and shops to hear the uplifting music.


Double Blessing

Congratulations to broadcaster Michael Germi and his wife Emily, who welcomed twin girls into the world on September 7, 2021. One-year-old big brother is going to encounter a lot of competition for Mom and Dad’s attention!



CRI Persian broadcaster Michael Germi has been inundated with emails and texts from Afghanistan since the country fell to the Taliban. Men and women, desperate to flee, have pleaded for help from any Christian organization that they could find. Michael’s new website, Besharat, has received 9,000 hits since January. He has been directing people to join his online Bible class, where he is able to teach multiple people at once. This week, 17 Afghans participated, and 8 people accepted Christ, including a family of 5.

George Zarris
Christian Radio International