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Overcoming Persecution: Rasheed Akther - Part 1

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2021 12:00 pm

Overcoming Persecution: Rasheed Akther - Part 1

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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May 8, 2021 12:00 pm

Nikita is with Rasheed Akther of Light of Life Ministry, talking about his harrowing experience of persecution in Pakistan, and what it means to stand for Christ in dark times.

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This is the Truth Network. Once a world champion wrestler, now a champion for Christ. Once the Russian nightmare, now the devil's worst nightmare, and your tag team partner, Nikita Kolov. It's time to man up.

Welcome back to It's Time to Man Up with the Russian nightmare, well, the devil's nightmare, Nikita Kolov. I have in the studio with me today a fascinating story. When I heard about this man's story, I said, he has to come on the show. Rashid is from Pakistan, and let me tell you what, I think you, the listener, will be as fascinated by this story as I was when I heard it. Hey, do you know what cricket is? Well, now I'm not talking about the little cricket bug.

I'm talking about what they play in other parts of the world, cricket. Well, the man in studio with me today, Rashid, was a world-renowned cricket player back in his day, but now through the power of salvation and transformation, this man has an amazing ministry over in Pakistan, taking care of orphanages. Rashid, welcome to the show. Thank you.

Great to have you with us today. I heard about your story, and I mean it. I was just fascinated by it, and of course, you and I have a relatable background in the sense of cricket.

Some listeners may have to go Google that. They may not be too familiar with the sport of cricket. However, because of my worldwide travels, having been to 30 different countries, and I remember when I was in South Africa, I mean that was a big-time deal in South Africa, and I'm guessing in Pakistan, cricket is probably like a national pastime as well, right? Tell us a little bit about that story, your days in the world of cricket. Well, let me start from South Africa. I really love to go to play there because on those good old days, before 86, when you play for South Africa or play with South Africa, you cannot play anywhere cricket, okay?

So during, though I'm talking about before mid-70, mid-70, I like to go because they pay you good money. They pay you good money, and I really want to go, but last minute I stopped not to go, and mostly the cricket is playing in the British colonies, British colonies like Australia, New Zealand, England, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and what you call this country, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, and Canada is trying to get in there nowadays. Okay, and how old, so how old were you when you first were introduced to cricket, or when you started playing cricket? How old were you? Well, I play for a very younger age, I mean, may I say that 15 years, but I start playing real cricket for Pakistan in 22nd.

I'm a 22-year-old man when I was a 22-year-old. Okay, so you started playing cricket at a very young age and got obviously pretty proficient with it well enough or talented enough that you played for the, I guess, would it be the national Pakistan, for the national team for the national team for Pakistan at age 22? Yeah. So were you regarded as like a professional cricket player then?

Yes, yes sir. So you went from the amateur status to becoming a professional at age 22, and then how many years did you professionally play cricket? I played seven and a half years.

Seven and a half years? Yeah. And you were what I understand, Rashid, you were one of the best of the best. Well, there's still the people call me, but I thank for them, and I am, I used to do that, I mean, I was the first player in Pakistan or the, or subcontinent, or if I may I say that in England, I was the first player who complete a 3,000 run in a very young age. Wow.

Yeah, 3,000. That is a lot of, not a kid's game. And especially those good old days when you play this West Indies, West Indies, their player was a very fast baller. And when I hit Michael Holding, he's the word fast baller, in my days, in my day, he was a very fast baller, those good old days, and I hit him a six run in six ball, and every ball I put the six run, and he came to hug me, and the entire thing he's going to hit me. He said, no, I'm not going to hit you. You are the first person who stand and play my ball, and I'm going to give you 5,000 pound.

Well, here's, now, for the listeners out there, Rashid, here's the deal, okay? I admittedly, I don't know a whole lot about cricket. I remember sitting in my hotel room in South Africa and watching the game, and I'm like, it's like some people from, like, for example, you may come from Pakistan, right? That's where you born and raised, grew up, you come here, you see American football, and I still have some people that go, I just don't understand the game of football, right? The American football game.

I just don't understand it. Well, I can relate to that because I hear what you're saying about the runs, and I used to remember that stick you guys would hold, and the way the guys would, like, wind up and pitch the ball, and I'm like, I can't wrap my head around how one, like, how you score runs and hit it here and there, but nevertheless, a fascinating game, and certainly you guys were tremendous athletes. That's true, that's true, and the cricket is, in British colonies, still the people play and want to play a lot. I mean, West Indies was the best those good old days. West Indies, they, I mean, World Cup, in a whole World Cup, they win twice. Two times, they win a row.

Two times in a row. Pakistan. Pakistan won only one time. One time, Pakistan won, but, so when you were playing, so you were, like, in an English league or playing for... No, I play for Pakistan. Just Pakistan. Yeah. So you won the World Cup, so there's a World Cup cricket tournament. Yeah. And Pakistan, were you a part of that team? Yes. You were? Yes.

Wow. So that's the equivalent of the Super Bowl in football. Exactly, exactly. Or the Stanley Cup in hockey here in America. The World Cup in cricket. That's right.

Wow, that's pretty impressive. I mean, every four years they have, not every year, but every four year they have to, I mean, they have a World Cup. Okay, so similar to every four years, typically, anyway, there's the Olympics.

Yeah, exactly. They play cricket in the Olympics, yeah? No, not yet. No, not yet.

Because you have to pay money, so Olympics don't want to pay money. Oh, I got you. Okay, okay. So you've got, that's pretty cool. Again, some relatability there. Yeah. I was a world champion in professional wrestling several different times.

So you were a world champion in cricket. So, Rashid, we got some relatability here. Amen. Awesome. That's very cool.

But we got something else that's relatable as well. I left the wrestling world at the tail end of 1992, the beginning of 1993. Fast forward to October of 1993, I found myself at an altar. I didn't grow up in church.

I found myself at an altar surrendering my life to Jesus, and that encounter at the altar that day forever changed me and changed my life. You have a slightly different story in that, growing up in Pakistan, the way I understand it, you grew up Muslim. Exactly.

You grew up Muslim, but at the same time, but at some point, someone introduced you to the gospel message and you met Jesus. Exactly. Tell us a little bit about that story. Well, I was in a hospital actually.

Okay. And somebody, the Dutch lady came to me and she said, can I pray for you? And we don't mind it as a Muslim. Don't mind it to pray for somebody else. If somebody come to me as a Muslim, oh, we say it's a good thing, so you can do that.

And she prayed for me, and she prayed for me, and she said, you will be healed. And I said, okay. Now, let me ask you, this was during your cricket days, yeah? Yes. Yes. So did you sustain or suffer an injury from cricket? Yes.

So that's what put you in the hospital. Yes. This Dutch woman, was she like a missionary? Missionary in Pakistan.

Oh, wow. And those good old days, there was not much a hospital, and there was a two big hospital. One is the Holy Family, that's run by the Catholics, and Seventh-day Adventist, run by the Adventist people.

Okay. But I was, my group go to the Adventist hospital, Seventh-day Adventist hospital. And so the Dutch missionary comes in and says, hey, Rashid? Yeah, but she's not a missionary about, what you call that, Seventh-day Adventist. She's a Pentecostal. Pentecostal Dutch missionary.

Yeah. She says, can I pray for you? And then she says, you're going to be healed. What was your response to that? You're like... And I said, that would be great, because in two weeks I'm going to go to play for England. Okay. Because I used to play in county too, in English county. Because Pakistan don't give you that much money, what the English county give you. Yeah.

And when, you know that when you are a player, you look that kind of thing. So I have a contract with the Lee County in England. Okay.

Three years contract. So I have to go. And so they say, okay.

And I say, well, that will be great. And I talk to her a little bit about, and she talked to me about introducing me to Jesus and how He heals. And I say, well, even I've never been in a mosque. My mother used to send me, but I've never been in mosque.

I used to play somewhere. And you know, when you have a passion for something, you do that way. You know, and my mother used to send us, send us during the Ramadan days, go to mosque. And, you know, but I never been there and never part of that.

And I didn't, I was actually not, if I say searching a truth and I was not, not even a good Muslim. Let me put it this way. Right, right. You know, lot of people go for Friday prayer. I don't, I don't want to go. Even though cricket, cricket time, my cricket time, people used to go, but I say, go ahead.

I'll, I'll sit in a dressing room. Yeah. And I, I understand that. I mean, you know, here in America, I mean, there's, there's, there's people who, who profess to be Christian, but never go to church. Right.

And, you know, yet they profess to be Christian, but they don't, for whatever reason, they don't go. Nakita Koloff here, if you're needing to buy a car and have marginal credit and considering using buy here, pay here, that's worse than taking the Russian sickle. Winston-Salem motor cars will put you behind the wheel of a car you can rely on while helping rebuild, repair, or establish your credit score. Conveniently located on Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem.

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And you're like, Oh, okay, that that'd be great. And so what happened? So she came next day, but she never come on the daytime.

She always come in the evening and she came in the daytime around 10 30, 11, 10 30, 11 in the, in the morning. And she say, I got a message for you gentlemen. I say, well, let me hear that. What is the message? He said, the Lord has sent me to you and he wants to, he's ready to heal you, but you have to accept him.

He's the King and the Lord and the healer God. I have to think about it. Okay. I have to think about it.

Long and hard. Yeah, because I thought I'm going to be a second grade citizen. Okay. Then you know what, then I'm going to leave my career.

Right. And that's my passion. Then I have to, I, I, I, I go into money things. I say, let me have a little time, 15, 20 minutes.

Let me think about it. And she said, okay, here you go. So you kind of, you kind of sensed or kind of knew, if I, you knew enough to know if I make this decision, if I accept this Jesus she's offering, receiving Christ into my life, that there might be some consequences to, to your professional Christ. Professional cricket career.

And, and from what I know, probably a consequences to your family as well. Exactly. You had to really think through that and process that. Yeah. Yes.

Yes. So, and that's interesting. In fact, recently, I'm currently right now, the Lord's got me preaching a message. So you make me think of the message I'm preaching right now. One of the messages called, called counting the cost. Okay. That's the name of the message that if you're going to be a Jesus follower, you really need to count the cost because there is, there is a cost to following Jesus. Exactly. And what I'm hearing from you and your story is if I, if I accept Jesus, there's a chance my cricket career may be ended.

And from what I understand from the Muslim faith and family is, is even you being ostracized and, or you might say kicked out of your family even, right? It's happened. So what happened?

Yeah. Tell us what happened then. So you, you said, I got to think about it. Give me 20 minutes to think about it. Okay.

What happened? And then I think about it. I say, well, let's go. And, uh, I gotta go.

I gotta go to play cricket in England County. So what I'm going to do, I'll accept it a little while when I've been healed and I'll go back on my way. But, uh, I don't know, actually those, those days when I accepted a Christ, when I made decision, I'm going to juggle with God or play with the God. Did you, did you do that with like, so did like, she leads you in a prayer or, or is that how? Yeah, she, she lead me in a prayer.

Cause you decided, you said, you said, okay, I want to accept this Jesus. No, no, no, she had, she has, she has pray on me and instantly I've been healed. Instantly healed. Yeah. God showed up in a, in a powerful way. Power. Wow.

And that, that had, that had opened your eyes. Yeah. And, uh, Was that before your decision to receive Jesus in your heart or at, or all at the same time kind of? No, same time. Same time.

Same time. And, uh, I asked to the doctor, the surgeon, and I say, in two days, you kept me observation and, uh, it's, everything is good now. I'm a good, I'm good. I'm good. And everybody say the good report. Oh no, he, he don't have any problem.

He don't have any problem. So I say, okay, that's good. And, uh, and he say, okay, let me bring my family. Well, I, I need to make a picture with you and I say, you can take as much as you want a picture. This is the doctor. Uh, yeah, doctor.

And I say, well, you can take, you can make a picture, picture as much as you want, but release me to do tomorrow because in, in a week I got a run for in England. So he, so the doctor confirms you're healed. I hear the story, right? Yeah. The doctor, it, but he, he can't like many times they can't explain it, right?

Yeah. But, but he obviously, or absolutely confirms you're healed because we know who the great healer is, the physician is. Yes, sir. God heals your body. The doctor's blown away and goes, Hey, I got to get a picture with you, right?

Document it all. Yeah. Right. Because their family and everybody can be do that for their family because he say he's a, he's a, what you call this, uh, he's a, he's a cricket player and he's a very, very fair player.

Famous man. So let him, let's do that. Let's do that. And he brought his family and we have the family pictures, his family and all those things.

His children wants to make a picture. I said, do it, you know, and, uh, thank God I've been healed that time to, until now I'm a completely healed. And then the load one day called me for the ministry, but I have a very hard time for my cricket career. I used to play for fifth, four of fifth number. Sometime I play third, third, four, fifth. When they come to know these, my friends in cricket player, my colleague, I should say, and they start putting me, uh, last numbers. So last number, don't go the good batsman.

Don't go to the last number, you know? So I decided give up my cricket. I gave my cricket.

I gave my cricket, I become a second grade citizen. I openly announced that I'm a Christian. I'm not anymore Muslim.

And I openly confessed that among the people. Then, uh, then we have a certain other difficulties. And, you know, when you in the Muslim culture, you accept a crisis, many times it's hard, it's hard. Right. Yeah. People in America, I don't think really understand me. I think we're starting to maybe understand it a little bit more, uh, as more and more persecution to the church comes at large. Exactly. But I even know from traveling so to so many countries and overseas, you know, and someone like yourself in, in a scenario, like you're describing in Pakistan, predominantly a Muslim nation, you make a decision to receive Jesus.

I mean, you do count the cost to make that decision, but many of them before you make the decision, right? And so you announce, Hey, I'm, I'm a Christian now. I'm a Christ follower. And I'm guessing your family wasn't real thrilled about that. Oh, they throw me out. They threw you out.

Yeah. My mother, my father, my father say, you change your religion. You are, you are, you are not allowed to come in my home. Not part of the family.

Not part of the family or even my home. So I say, it's, it's a one o'clock in the morning where I'm going to go. He said, go sleep on the street. I said, praise the Lord. I go, I have enough money. I stay a couple, a few nights in a hotel. And after that I got my own apartment.

So that's kind of thing. So I have, but follow Christ is always good way. Follow Jesus is an always good way. Take off your cross and follow him every day.

No matter what the consequences, even if your family disowns you. And he will give you, he will give you the victory over everybody. And end of the day, the Lord gave me the victory over my family. Everybody turned to Christ. Everyone in your family eventually comes to Christ. Who was the first one in your family?

Who was the first one? Oh, my mother. Your mom, come on. She said, she said that something is good there. That's he turned.

She can see something changed in you. Yeah. Yeah. And she said, something is good in Christianity. Otherwise he never read a Quran.

He never go to mosque and how come he go to church and read a Bible all the time? You know? That, yeah, that's called a, uh, you had a road to Damascus and counter. You were Saul, you became Paul. You were a changed man. She couldn't deny the changes she was seeing in her son.

Yeah. And she start coming to my home, my apartment, and we have a good relation with her. I have a good relation.

She has a good relation as a mother and son. And then my father, then mother, brother, sister, everybody come to know the Lord. And we just got, you know what, man, this story is so fascinating.

We just got a few minutes left. I want to cover this for the listeners out there. I mean, you're so loud for Jesus. They see the change.

Eventually your whole entire family comes to know Jesus. Amen. And, and in our last few minutes left here, though, I want to talk about this too. I want people to know since that decision, a number of years ago, you, you now have a ministry of your own in Pakistan.

Yes, sir. Ministering to orphans, right? Orphaned. And a school.

Tell us, tell us, uh, in our last couple of minutes here, tell us about that. Yeah, we are trying, we bought the land and everything we've been done. We are, we are trying to build a school, a school, uh, and orphanage. And we have a right now orphan child, orphan houses, where we send the children. And now we want to build our own facility and high school for the children. For the children and high school name is, uh, St. Thomas High School.

Because St. Thomas brought a gospel into that land first. Wow. And so you are fulfilling, really you're fulfilling scripture when God said, take care of the widows and the orphans. Exactly. You're taking care of the orphans there in Pakistan.

Yes. And, and I know if people want to get ahold of you, uh, they can, they can just email you directly, Hey, I'm going to spell that for you. Get your pen and paper out.

R A S H E E D A K T H E R at Light of Light Pakistan is, is the ministry and, and you taking care of the orphans. And, and we got about, uh, 60 seconds here. Uh, just, just tell us, just, just real quick.

So you got the school, the orphanage. We want to do what we can to help best support you, man. It's great to have you on the show today.

What a fascinating story. Um, um, I love to be here. And, uh, thank you very much to giving me this opportunity and God bless America and God bless this studio and especially you and Robbie Dilmore.

Well, I tell you what, you, you, you, you mentioned a great name, Robbie Dilmore and, uh, the Christian car guy and he's got a phenomenal show of his own. And, and so just great to have you here with us. Thank you, we'll have to, uh, since the Lord crossed our paths, we'll have to have you back again, uh, another time.

And I know you're here in America right now, raising funds, raising money, uh, for the orphanage and for the school. And we're going to pray and believe. And, and as I know you are, I can just, I just, I just sense it, man. God's going to do continue to do some great things in and through you. God bless you, brother. Thank you.

Thank you. Well, folks, that's it, thank you, uh, for tuning into it's time to man up today with the Russian nightmare, the devil's worst nightmare, Nikita Kolov. And, uh, we will see you next week with another show and another great interview. Men, I would like to challenge each of you to consider spending five days with Lex Luger and I at Man Camp, pursuing the heart of God. Ladies, if you're listening, we'll send your men home better equipped to be men of God, Godly husbands and Godly fathers that appeals to you. Give them your blessing and encourage them to sign up today at Pastors, if you would like to bring Kolov for Christ Ministries and Man Up Conference to your community, go to and email me.

Remember this it's time to man up. We so appreciate our listeners. If you will support this program with a financial gift of any amount, I will send you a personalized copy of my latest book, Nikita, a tale of the ring and redemption.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-20 09:47:03 / 2023-11-20 09:58:34 / 12

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