Former Muslim shares testimony
Many Christians have heard of the most intense costs of following Christ, but only few have experienced them firsthand.
Afshin Ziafat is one of those few. Growing up in a Muslim family, he was renounced by his father when he converted to Christianity as a senior in high school.
Ziafat spoke in chapel Oct. 13 to share his experiences with students and to challenge them to grow in their faith.
“The call of Christ is a call to follow him. … There’s a cost to it, and a lot of people don’t want to talk about that cost,” he said in his message.
Ziafat had an English tutor growing up who gave him a small New Testament Bible to read. He put it away, found it and picked it up 10 years later when a basketball teammate stirred Ziafat’s curiosity in Christianity.
He went to a crusade and accepted Christ, but on the way home, he started pondering the consequences of his actions.
He told students, “I was driving home and this thought hit me: What is my Dad going to say?”
His father, a prominent Muslim in the Houston area, disowned Ziafat when he found out he was a Christian, saying, “If you are going to be a Christian, you can no longer be my son,” to which Ziafat replied, “Dad, if I have to choose between you and Jesus, I choose Jesus.”
They’ve since made amends in their relationship, but Ziafat is still praying for his father’s salvation.
Ziafat now shares his story with college students across the country.
“It was in college where I really felt a call in my life and where God grabbed ahold of my heart … so I think that’s why I have a passion for college students,” he said.
“You guys are at that stage where the sky’s the limit, and you’ve got nothing to hold you back.”
Students, like freshman Sarah Stadler, were challenged by what Ziafat shared.
“I can’t imagine having to grow in my faith without the love and support of my parents. The fact that he did is an inspiration to me,” she said.
Being a part of Revival steering committee, Stadler is excited for Ziafat to come back in the spring and speak and has high expectations for the event.
She said, “My hope is that God would work through Afshin in a way that all will leave with a yearning in their souls to surrender every aspect of their lives to Jesus because He is worth it.”