My name is Fouad Hanna* from Syria. I have lived a really hard life. I thought that if I could earn a lot of money I would prove myself, and that was my goal. I worked day and night; I even slept at work sometimes. I worked for four years without one day off.
I opened my first shop. But my troubles started with this business as it was a bar and a disco. Many of the people attracted to the bar were of bad character. I soon began making bad and dubious business decisions. One of my new acquaintances was a man from Iraq. He offered me a business scheme that was supposed to make me rich really fast. I asked how and he told me that he knew some people in Turkey who could make fake money. He showed me some samples, and I agreed. We bought the fake money company and we became partners. More people joined us and we printed out more than 90 million dollars.
I did become very wealthy, and I loved money, I thought money was equivalent with happiness. But I soon learned that money mixed with drugs does not produce happiness. I got married when I was 19 and she was 14 years old. On my wedding day, I began doing drugs. The problem with that life is that you give away your own soul when you start doing drugs. This life would have guns, bad people, murders, alcohol and more. I would take more than 20 pills with drugs a day. The most dangerous thing for a human being is to start with these drugs. I did drugs for 15 years, along with my business and money scheme and all. I was aggressive and harsh. My wife realized that when I took my drugs, I would be calm. I treated my family really bad, I did not care about them at all. Once I trashed our house and there was broken glass everywhere. I would hit my wife and shout at her.
-I realized that divorce was the best thing to do, I left everything, my home and him, says his wife.
-By this time I had lost all my money, I could not buy any food or anything, for that matter. Nobody trusted me, not even my own parents. But strange enough, a week after my wife left me, she came back, remembers Fouad.
-I heard a voice telling me that my husband would recover, that I should have faith and support him, says his wife.
-My wife told me to pull myself together, get a job and get on with life.
By this time I knew I had lost in life. While the kids were watching, I started searching for pills I might have dropped in the house, contemplating suicide. Death was better than living like this. But my wife told me she was praying for me. She said she still heard that voice telling her to have faith and to help me.
I would take out my gun and threaten my family; they were really scared by that time. Sometimes I would point the loaded gun to my head and pretend to shoot myself. I did try to kill myself three times. One time, I took 10 syringes full of drugs in one arm at once, and my arm was very swollen.
Another time I threw my self from the third floor, but absolutely nothing happened, as if God’s angels carried me. I started to get angry… why couldn’t I just die?
The final time, I took my car and drove straight into a truck… the truck drove over the car but still I made it out unharmed!
That is when I got my wakeup call. We moved back to the place where we lived before, so I could work. My wife got to meet a woman called Margret, she told her everything about us and me and how life was with our family. Margaret was a real woman of God, and she started praying with and helping my wife.
One day when I was at work I heard a sound like a voice inside of me. When I got home, I asked my wife to throw away all my phones and numbers that had connections with my former life and drugs. I still felt that voice inside me. During the night I kept on hearing this voice, but this time I was sure it was talking to me. I thought maybe it was my conscience talking to me as I started thinking about the people that had died because of the bad life I had lived.
I would send them on a drug or money mission, but they would never come back. The voice told me to confess my sins and how I felt.
Pursued by God
I wondered if it was God that was talking to me, or just my own voice. Would God really talk to me after all the bad things I had done? So I just kept my eyes closed, scared that if I opened my eyes the voice would go away. So I talked and I talked and I told God about all my sins and confessed everything I had done. The voice pursued me, and I couldn’t find rest or sleep. My wife understood that something was going on, so she asked me and I told her what was happening. She tried to get me to go to church with her, but I wasn’t ready. She asked Margret to talk to me. Margret told me to ask for Jesus, and I thought that it was impossible for a person like me to have Jesus in his life, but she insisted.
The same day, I asked Jesus to come into my life, and YES, Jesus turned my life 900 degrees around! From that day on, I was a totally different person. I asked by family to forgive me for the terrible husband and father I had been. Today we love each other, we have built a new life together and my greatest desire is to serve God.
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*The photo is not identical with the person in the story