This past semester, Dr. Greenham shared with his Christian Missions class a testimony from The Torn Veil: The Story of Sister Gulshan Esther as told to Thelma Sangster with Noble Din Interpreter. This quote is actually taken from Dr. Greenham’s disertation Muslim conversions to Christ: an investigation of Palestinian converts living in the Holy land – Page 58-59.
I hope you enjoy it, I did.
Perhaps the most striking testimony of all is that of another Pakistani woman, Gulshan Esther. She was crippled from infancy and for years sought healing in vain. Following her father’s death, she desperately called out to God, beginning truly to “talk to Him, not as a Muslim does, using set prayers, approaching Him across a great gulf. Driven by a vast emptiness inside I prayed as if talking to One who knew my circumstances and my need.” Her prayer led to a number of remarkable encounters. She heard a low voice saying he was Jesus son of Mary, and that she should read about him in the Qur’an. She did so, and “began to believe that what was written about Jesus was true — that he did miracles, was alive — and that he could heal [her].” She felt more and more drawn to Jesus and prayed to him repeatedly.
Very early one morning, after desperately asking Jesus to heal her or tell her if he could not, a light filled the darkened room and she became aware ofthe presence of twelve figures, led by another, brighter and larger than the rest. She relates the encounter as follows:
“Oh God,” I cried, and the perspiration broke out on my forehead. I bowed my head and I prayed. “Oh God, who are these people, and how have they come here when all the windows and doors are shut?”
Suddenly a voice said, “Get up. This is the path you have been seeking. I am Jesus Son of Mary, to whom you have been praying, and now I am standing in front of you. You get up and come to me.”
I started to weep. “Oh Jesus, I’m crippled. I can’t get up.”
He said, “Stand up and come to me. I am Jesus.”
When I hesitated he said it a second time. Then as I still doubted he said for the third time, “Stand up.”
And I, Gulshan Fatima, who had been crippled on my bed for nineteen years, felt new strength flowing into my wasted limbs. I put my foot on the ground and stood up. Then I ran a few paces and fell at the feet of the vision. I was bathing in the purest light and it was burning as bright as the sun and moon together. The light shone into my heart and into my mind and many things became clear to me at that moment.
What seems very clear is she was miraculously healed and transformed. After the vision she began walking up and down in her room, reciting the Lord’s Prayer, which she had received shortly before in her illumination encounter.
The sound of her movement alarmed her aunt, who assumed someone had entered her room, as Esther couldn’t walk. Opening the door, the aunt had to come to terms with the reality of her healing. Although she and the other relatives were delighted with Esther’s physical transformation, they did not appreciate the credit she gave Jesus. Her relationship with her family deteriorated and at one point she had a gun put to her head. Nevertheless, after leaving home permanently, she engaged in a ministry of testifying “to the power of God to reach people who are behind the veil of Islam.”