The pastor of Iraq's only Christian radio station that reaches over eight million listeners in the country narrowly escaped a bomb blast in a garage where he had gone to repair a church bus.
A post from the church website run by Pastor Maher Fouad said that the "Baghdad church bus broke down and needed a spare part. Pastor Maher and a deacon from the church went to a garage to fix it. The mechanic told Maher that he doesn't have the part and directed him to another garage," when the bomb exploded in the garage, killing the garage owner.
"Pastor Maher drove the bus out of the garage into the street. At that moment a bomb went off killing the owner of the garage. The car that was following our bus was demolished and the driver was killed. All the windows of our church bus were completely shattered from the pressure of the explosion. Dust and debris was [sic] everywhere and covered Pastor Maher and the deacon. Yet he and the deacon were not touched! They were completely spared and not harmed," the post continued.
The post was titled "God Answers Prayer" on the website of The New Testament Baptist Church of Baghdad. Despite the risk of living in Iraq and the constant threats of a violent environment, Fouad does not want to leave the country.
"The situation here in Baghdad is not only bad, it is very bad," Fouad said. "When ISIS occupied Ramadi, we became in danger because Ramadi is not very far away from Baghdad. On one side, we have ISIS threatening us. And the second danger we face is from car bombs and explosions."
In spite of the threats, Fouad continues his work of sharing the gospel to millions through the radio, which he started a decade ago.
"When we started this project, it was a pioneering project," Fouad told CBN News. "No one ever applied for a radio station in the history of Iraq, especially a Christian radio station."
"During the time [one decade ago], violence was a major problem in Baghdad, with the sounds of explosions and car bombs," Fouad said. "And out of all these radio stations that broadcast violence and negative news, our radio station appeared broadcasting the Gospel and the Good News of Jesus Christ."
"I pray publicly on our radio station so all the Iraqis will hear it." he said. "Not only Christians but also Muslims call us live on the air requesting that we pray for them."
"When the US Troops moved into Iraq and ousted the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Lord burdened my heart to go to Iraq and seek to establish a Baptist church... On June 4, 2003 the Lord opened the door for us to go to Iraq," he writes on his website.
Fouad established one more Christian radio station in Southern Iraqi city of Basra in 2010, which can be heard in the neighboring countries of Kuwait and Iran as well.
"We rejoice because many, many people are listening and receiving the message and are responding to the message of the Gospel," Fouad said.