Zehra gave the ring back

despite public shame.

This wasn’t how she planned it. But Zehra knew she had to give the ring back.

In the traditional cultures of central Asia, marriage is foundational to society, an essential right of passage especially for young women. The entire family must bless a marriage arrangement—or approve of breaking off an engagement.

As Zehra considered returning her engagement ring, she realized the risk. Public shame could follow her and her family for years.

Today you can share the message of hope in Jesus with people who need to know God loves them and has a plan for their life.

After finishing high school, a young man from another church showed interest in Zehra. Her Christian parents and everyone around them encouraged their relationship. With so few believers in the region, it is difficult to find a dedicated Christian man. Zehra’s family considered it a blessing that another believer would show interest in her.

Zehra wasn’t as certain. But despite her hesitations, the two dated and were soon engaged. Not long after, problems between them arose.  

She prayed for God to intervene, “Jesus, if you are who you say you are, please help me. Let us both go our separate ways and help me to be happy.”

This wasn’t the first time Zehra had seen God work through prayer.

The year before her engagement, Zehra’s father had experienced problems with his business that threatened to destroy his work and leave their family with nothing. Believing God was up to something bigger, she began praying for her father.

“I understood that any success and a way out of a difficult situation is only possible with the help of Jesus …” she said.

Her mother had come to faith many years earlier after having a dream about Jesus. And although her father allowed the family to attend church, this was the first time he showed a genuine interested in knowing more about the Christian faith.

Today you can help our team members like Zehra share the Gospel—telling people who are searching for hope about the joy found in Jesus.

Realizing he couldn’t fix his problems on his own, he trusted in Jesus. And as he looked to God for help, he watched Him work in remarkable ways, ultimately providing a solution to the business challenges he faced.

Now it was Zehra who faced overwhelming challenges. As she prayed for God to intervene, her parents realized the relationship wasn’t best for her. Despite the risk of bringing unrelenting shame upon her and the family, they gave the engagement ring back.  

Unfortunately, Zehra was ostracized by her friends, but she trusted God had a plan. “I began praying and reading my Bible. I felt such joy in my heart. I began serving people and talked about Jesus everywhere. He became my best friend,” she said. 

Zehra completed her education at a local university and began her career, finding confidence and strength in Jesus. Despite the challenges she faced, she kept believing God had a bigger plan.

And then she met the man of her dreams.  

“My husband is the answer to my prayers. Jesus united us in Himself. We have learned to keep Jesus in the center of our married life and overcome all difficulties together,” she said.  

Together the couple serves as in-country partners with Global Heart Ministries in our Connect Center. Zehra develops digital content that engages thousands of spiritual seekers through social media platforms. She also corresponds with those who have questions about faith and has seen many people trust Jesus this year.  

“This is my dream job! All that I have is because of the love of Jesus. Today my entire family serves God, and it is a big honor for us—an honor to be a part of God’s family,” Zehra said.

Zehra’s story reminds us that God has a plan for each of us. He wants to use us to share Jesus and impact people with the Good News—even in the darkest places on earth.

Today there are millions of people across the Middle East and Central Asia who need to know God loves them and has a purpose for them. Through innovative technology and digital media, Global Heart Ministries shares the message of Jesus with people who are searching and connects them to the persecuted church where they can develop relationships and grow in their faith.

Will you give today to share Jesus with people who need to hear the Gospel and discover God’s plan for them?

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