One Man’s 30-Year Search for a Bible

A man reads a Bible
After his Bible was stolen, Diyar spent decades searching for another one. How would he find one without knowing any Christians?

Thirty years ago, Diyar owned the most powerful book in the world. He didn’t fully understand it. It went against everything he’d ever heard about God. And he knew he had to find its meaning.

But the book was too powerful to go unnoticed, especially in Diyar’s Middle Eastern country.

Someone discovered Diyar’s book and stole it from him.

Diyar tried everything he could to find another copy, but it was impossible. Impossible, until his wife, Talora, attended an ordinary wedding.

A “Chance” Encounter

Talora didn’t expect anything unusual to happen at the wedding. But as she got ready, a missionary was praying for God to move.

TEAM missionary Poppy didn’t know Talora or Diyar. She was a friend of the groom’s sister, and she was eager to bond with the groom’s family. Poppy had asked her supporters to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel.

God would answer — but not in the way Poppy expected.

All through the wedding, Poppy looked for opportunities to share with the family. But it was hard in the midst of the party.

“I was actually a little disappointed as I was leaving,” Poppy says.

But then, as Poppy searched for her keys, a woman she didn’t know approached her. It was Talora.

Without explaining herself, Talora asked for Poppy’s number. And in her confusion, Poppy gave it to her. Poppy didn’t expect anything to come of it, but two months later, she got an intriguing message.

A Man on the Hunt for Truth

A man named Diyar contacted Poppy, saying he got her number from his wife. He wanted to meet Poppy or her husband, Russ. By then, Poppy had forgotten all about the woman at the wedding. But Russ agreed to meet with Diyar anyway.

The first time they met, Diyar told Russ all about the powerful book he’d been looking for.

Back in the 80s, Diyar had gone to a mission hospital and received a Bible. But then, it was taken away from him. Diyar had been looking for a new Bible ever since.

Arabic Bible

Diyar met TEAM missionaries who gave him a Bible. His search for the book was over, but his search for Truth was just beginning.

Now, Diyar asked Russ to teach him from the Bible.

Diyar and Russ started meeting for Bible study almost every day. Then, Diyar started coming to church every week.

As the two men talked about Jesus, Diyar realized he needed to follow Christ. But he wasn’t satisfied to follow Jesus alone; he wanted his family to know God, too!

Diyar didn’t know how to tell his wife and kids about the change in him. But soon, God opened another door.

An Open Door to Reach His Kids

Poppy and Russ told Diyar about how they homeschooled their kids, using a faith-based curriculum. Diyar responded that he wanted his kids to be educated in the Truth, too. Would Poppy be willing to homeschool his three children?

It was a big ask, but Poppy was excited to make it happen.

Poppy started taking Diyar and Tolora’s kids through Lee Strobel’s apologetic books, and she is seeing God work in their hearts.

Recently one of the teenage girls said she didn’t understand the difference between Christians and Jews. Poppy got to explain that Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah promised by God to free us from sin, while Jews are still waiting for a Messiah.

Without hesitation, the teenage girl responded, “Someone should tell them there isn’t anyone else coming!”

“The conversations and openness to truth the children show make each day with them an adventure,” Poppy says.

Please pray that Diyar’s three children and wife will all come to know Christ as Savior. And praise God with us for the work He’s already done!

Are you interested in becoming a missionary? Talk to a TEAM missions coach! Your missions coach will answer your questions and send you opportunities curated just for you. Get in touch with your coach today!

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About the author

Bethany DuVal

Bethany DuVal served as TEAM's marketing manager and editor. She is passionate about helping others tell their stories, whether they're missionaries on the field, new believers or part of a missionary support team. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading books and hiking in the Smoky Mountains.


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  • When I pray, I thank The Holy Spirit for causing the Word to be written down. Then I tell God how grateful I am to live in a country where I can have my own Bible, or two or three. I am blessed to be able to discuss the Bible in public places. I donate to the American Bible Society and I will support a Wycliffe missionary. My support to Kathy Tims, a Team member, is another way for me to get the Word out.

    • That’s awesome that you’ve found so many ways to share the Bible, Joan! We certainly are incredibly blessed to have easy access to God’s words!

  • So glad that Poppy just happened to have a conversation with Talora!! Which led to her husband.
    Diyar asking Russ, Poppy’s husband to teach the Bible to Diyar daily….nicely written. May God
    continue His work in the life of Diyar’s family to be saved, amen.

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