- Rad was born in Georgetown, Guyana, South America.
- He was a Muslim from birth.
- Graduated as a registered mental nurse in 1975 and a state registered nurse in 1977, in the UK.
- Accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour in 1977.
- Married in 1978 and immigrated to Canada.
- Attended Christ For The Nations Institute in Long Island, NY, in 1989 – obtained a diploma in Biblical studies.
- Obtained a Bachelor of Theology degree from Florida Beacon Bible College, Florida, in 1993.
- Returned to Canada in 1995.
DARKNESS TO LIGHT, REVELATION TO REDEMPTION
My conversion from Islam to Christianity is not as dramatic as some other converts. However, I was a sinner in need of a savior. It is difficult for anyone to comprehend this fact, regardless of faith in anyone else but in Jesus Christ. My life in darkness was translated into life in the light, according to Matthew 4:6. The seed for my faith in Christ started in Guyana, the country of my birth. It was, and still is, a country with people of different beliefs and faiths. Christianity was the predominant religion in that day, but there were other major world religions being practiced.
My parents followed some of Islam’s religious practices in our home, but were not very involved in religion. My father attended the mosque on their ‘high holy days’, and sometimes on a weekly basis. My brother and I were expected to attend as we got older, it was not an expectation of my sisters, but they were involved in any services or prayers in our home. However, it was just a ritual to me. I remember going to the mosque on many an occasions, and bowing down to pray to Mohammed with the rest of the followers. The people seemed genuinely devoted in their worship and beliefs. I started to attend the mosque on a more regular basis with the goal of learning Urdu, in order to read the Koran.
The teachings of the Imam were similar to going to school to learn any other subject, and I treated it as such, as I could find no life or revelation through it. I was beginning to grasp the language of the Koran, and we had to perform recitals by memory. It was during one such recital, that I left the mosque and only ever returned on their ‘holy’ days. I was around 14 years of age and I could not recite one of the prayers, at that time, public discipline was still in effect in schools, but I never expected it in the mosque. The Imam told me to hold out my hand to receive my punishment. The bamboo whip missed my hand and split my wrist, and it started to bleed. The Imam was going to hit me again, but I grabbed the cane, broke it and threw it at him – I remember telling him, “You proclaim peace, but practice violence, I want nothing more to do with you and your teachings”, and left. This was a turning point in my ‘belief’, even though I had yet to experience any truth or revelation from going to the mosque. I continued to attend, but now only infrequently.
My mother had some Catholic influence in her life, and my sisters went to Catholic schools. They would win prizes for their diligent work, and one such prize was a Bible. I use to read it on a regular basis and imitate the preachers on the radio, as a form of entertainment. At that time of my youth, the radio was our only form of entertainment in our home. Although I did not use to read the Word to know Christ, I believe the seed of the Word was being sown in my heart, and it was more life giving than reading or hearing words from the Koran.
I left home when I was 19 years old, to undertake nurse training in the UK. It was difficult to adjust to a completely new lifestyle, both from a religious and cultural experience, but it was here that my conversion began to grow roots. It started with a diet change, as I ate only a vegetarian diet for the first few weeks. This was in keeping with the Muslim’s tradition of eating only halal products, but it was not possible to get halal products in the cafeteria. Thus, I started to eat chicken and beef, and felt no different for doing so!
As I began to make friends in a new country, I met two seminary students who were working in the hospital at that time. They introduced me to the Catholic Church. We began a dialogue about Christianity and other religions, as I had read the entire Bible more than once in Guyana. Thus, we had some lively discussions, as we shared from personal experiences and beliefs. I was challenged by their sincerity, love and dedication to what they believed, but most importantly: their belief and desire to serve God was due to their faith in Him, and not out of obligation and fear, as was so predominant in the Muslim faith.
I started to attend the Catholic Church on a regular basis, and was struck by the similarity in their devotion and rituals to a god that they could not see. However, there was a more ‘life giving force’ while attending this church, than I had experienced in the mosque, and it increased my desire to learn more about the God that they worshipped. At that time, the charismatic movement was spreading, and I became involved in one of their small groups. This movement had a deeper devotion to Christ, through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My first impression was that they were delusional; just like some of my patients on the psychiatric units, as they spoke in an unknown tongue, sang and praised their God. However, this did not deter me, as I felt at peace in such an atmosphere. The people were also genuine in their love and devotion to God, and had a desire to serve Him.
Later, I met my wife, and we became more involved in the charismatic movement. We moved to Cambridge, England, after getting married. It was here that my conversion to Christianity became more ‘real’, with a deeper impact as I became ‘born again’, through the ministry and teachings of another couple. This is an experience that is vital to any believer in Christ, in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3), and to have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Up to this point in time, my conversion was based on knowledge with an inward peace, that I was serving a God who created and loved me. This born again experience gave me the realization that I was a sinner in need of a savior, and Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem me from such a state. This increased my desire to know more about God and to attend a Bible college.
We immigrated to Canada, and I eventually went to a Bible college in the US. My faith in Christ was deepened, and the Word became more alive with a deeper understanding of God. It also brought out this revelation: Christianity is not a religion, but a lifestyle and a relationship with Christ. You can only have a relationship with another person if they are alive, and no other religion can proclaim such a fact.
It is my hope and prayer that all who read this experience may come to the same realization that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Light, and salvation can be found in and through no one else but in HIM.