Islam is on the move throughout the world, including South America. In recent years, it has taken root in a community in Venezuela, where Elena and her family live. Islam teaches that a man or a woman must work to save themselves; Allah isn't a god of love, but a god who is ready to punish. "Believing in a Savior was difficult for me because I was used to practicing the Five Pillars to get to Paradise. I gave alms, I prayed, I did all of those things," shares Elena. "And yet I had a terrible attitude toward my parents, and it caused lot of problems at home."
Elena was chasing meaning and fulfillment through the practice of Islamic ritual. As hard as she tried, she never found true peace in her heart.
An Evangelical church opened near where she lived, and out of curiosity, Elena decided to visit. "When I entered the church for the first time, I heard a leader tell stories of Jesus. To my surprise, I began to cry! I didn't expect to have that reaction," she says. "While I was crying I felt like I was finally home. Some people prayed with me and I returned to learn more about the Bible. I studied the Gospel of John, and completed all the lessons. I saw that Jesus was my Savior, and I accepted Him as Lord. My attitudes changed, and my family problems are decreasing. I have a beautiful home, thanks be to God."
Before Elena came to accept Christ, she was like thousands of Venezuelans who search for meaning and truth in a variety of ways. Islam, cults and cultural traditions promise peace but cannot deliver. But thanks to churches and their members who partner with Bible League International and use our training programs, people like Elena are experiencing spiritual transformation.