Shoaib Ebadi grew up as a Muslim in Afghanistan but his lingering question about creation always lingered in the back of his mind.
"I was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan in a typical and traditional Muslim family. I have four sisters and two brothers. My parents and grandparents, 11 of us lived in one house," says Ebadi who is now the President and Executive Director of Square One World Media in Winnipeg, Man.
When Ebadi was in grade 4, his country experienced a coup d'état.
"We saw machine guns and soldiers on the street. My school was closed. It was more than 40 years ago but since then, Afghanistan didn't see peace or prosperity."
Throughout Ebadi's schooling and on to studying law in college, he had a burning question that wouldn't go away.
"All my life I had this question, how the world was started. My education of evolution could not answer it and also my religious background could not answer it clearly either."
Ebadi met and married his wife in 1996, in Pakistan.
"In 1999, my father died in Pakistan. My life was upsidedown. I didn't have a job, I didn't know the language and we became refugees there. We had two young daughters. That was the lowest point in my life."
On the outside, Ebadi appeared as a good husband, father, and worker. But he was conflicted on the inside.
"We had some Christian friends who suggested I start a Bible study, but I was rejecting Christianity, as it was 'an expired religion,' at least that was my understanding."
Before Ebadi even read the Bible for the first time, he had an incredible encounter.
"One night I had a dream, I had a vision of a shiny man who asked me, 'Why are you against me?'"
That was the beginning of a turning point in Ebadi's life. He asked his wife to attend their friend's Bible study. Ebadi ended up joining the study, but only to read the Bible to help with his English, rather than grow in his faith.
"The missionary friends were praying that our coming to Canada will delay until we get to the book of John," says Ebadi. This is because many Muslims have come to know Jesus through the verse John 3:16, he shares. "God had a different plan and He opened my heart in the book of Matthew, in Chapter 11, verse 28 where Jesus says 'All who are weary and burdened, come to Me and I give you rest.'"
It was that verse and the power of the Holy Spirit that brought Ebadi to believe in Jesus as his Lord. The fact that the Bible also explained the beginning of Creation answered his life-long question.
"The next morning, I talked to my wife and said I believe in Jesus as my Saviour and Lord. She said, 'I believe too!' Without me knowing, she had another Bible study with a Canadian lady in Pakistan. Somehow God worked in our lives at the same time."
Since that time, Ebadi's family immigrated to Canada in 2000 and have been serving God in their lives in one way or another.
From 2010 and on, Ebadi and his wife have been running an evangelical TV program in Afghanistan from Winnipeg. It still runs today and gives people hope in their dire situation of full Taliban rule since the U.S. army removed its troops in 2021.
Today on Connections, Shoaib shares how God changed his life, and encourages believers to share their testimonies as well.