SEBRING — The Heartland American-Israeli Initiative (HAII) will hold its next meeting at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at Chicane’s Restaurant, 3101 Golfview Road. The guest speaker for this meeting will be Pastor Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church International.

Pastor Umar Mulinde is a Christian convert from a Muslim background. He is an acid attack survivor, human rights activist, author, pro-Israel public speaker and he is an Ordained Senior Pastor of Gospel Life Church International, a commission driven church based in Kampala, Uganda in East Africa.

Born and raised in a staunch Muslim family, he was a Muslim who hated Israel. Both his parents were staunch Muslims, and his grandfather was a famous Imam (Muslim teacher). He studied Islamic theology, being trained to become a Sheikh (Muslim scholar). Pastor Mulinde is well versed in the Qur’an and Islamic teachings.

The theology of Islam had taught him to hate Israel and the Jewish people (Qur’an chapter 5:51). But after conversion, he was drawn to the true teaching of the Bible and eventually began loving Israel and the Jewish people.

Pastor Mulinde has been preaching for 25 years, conducting mass gatherings that have been featured on various television and radio shows in Uganda, preaching and sharing an inspiring testimony.

Because of his conversion, promoting the love of Israel and such progressive activities mentioned above, Ugandan Muslim extremists attacked and threw acid on his face. “Acid burnt me to near death had God not helped,” said Mulinde.

Israel played a key role in Pastor Mulinde healing from the acid attack. Where hospitals in Uganda failed, Sheba Medical Hospital in Tel HaShomer, Israel performed specialized, life saving surgeries. Pastor Umar Mulinde’s incredible inspiring life story is a testimony of standing strong in faith despite severe persecution.

You can find out more about Pastor Mulinde on his website, pastorumarmulinde.com.