I love New York and America!

I’ve been to New York many times. Some of my favorite memories include the Jamaica Avenue street vendors who will sell you anything, for almost any price. In the early 90’s I purchased a cassette tape of MC Hammer for $2 USD. Here’s how that went down.

Asif: do you have MC Hammer?
Vendor: Yes, wait here.
Vendor then immediately abandons his cart of cassette tapes with me, age 10-11 approx and runs down the crowded street. He was gone for a good couple of minutes and came back with the tape. Dude should have charged me $25 for all the work he did.

These days I go to New York for business and I don’t find anything to be cheap anymore. I had to sign a contract and get it to its destination and my pen ran out of ink, so I stopped into a stationary store to get the cheapest pen I could find – $20 for 1 pen!

After the September 11 attacks in New York, getting into the USA has been a little harder for me. I went to New York recently and they stopped us at the border, had bomb sniffing dogs sniff through my car, and had me remove all the items from the car. I was questioned about why I had so many bibles (because I give them away to people who give their life to Jesus) and why I had so much cash on me ($500 USD). They were obviously looking for a reason. People like that are dumb. The worst part actually, I mean the most uncomfortable part of this was that 99.9% of the people stopped at the border were colored people. Look I completely understand the need for this and to be extra safe, but come on.

The ultra rudeness of the lady behind the counter was almost unbearable. She was nasty on a level that I couldn’t understand, she was speaking to me as if I was her personal enemy. She didn’t ask me where I was going, where I was staying, what business I would be conducting, she asked questions that I had no answer for. She asks “what’s your fathers name Asif?” And of course I have no clue what his name is, I never met the guy – so I tell her this and this made her very angry. She screamed at me in front of everyone about how suspicious it was that I didn’t know my fathers name, and so loudly that a supervising officer probably felt bad for me and he simply shut her up and let me into the USA with an apologetic face. After that I’ve been going without any issue.

El Shaddai

“El Shaddai” by Amy Grant

El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai [means “God Almighty, God Almighty”]
El-Elyon na Adonai [means “God in the highest, Oh, Lord”]
Age to age, You’re still the same
By the power of the name.
El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai
Erkamka na Adonai [means “We will love You, Oh, Lord”]
We will praise and lift You high

Through Your love
And through the ram,
You saved the son
Of Abraham.
Through the power
Of Your hand,
Turned the sea
Into dry land.
To the outcast
On her knees,
You were the God
Who really sees.
And by Your might,
You set Your children free.

Through the years,
You made it clear,
That the time of Christ
Was near,
Though the people
Couldn’t see
What Messiah ought to be.
Though Your Word
Contained the plan,
They just could not understand,
Your most awesome work was done
Though the frailty of Your son.


I was introduced to this song in 1999 while driving to a bookstore around midnight (yes, I’m that kind of book fanatic). The song was made famous by Amy Grant. Read the words carefully and meditate on them. God is awesome, and worthy of your praise and respect. The atheists will learn this the hard way one day — they spend all of their waking time trying to prove that God doesn’t exist. As an example, I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, and guess how much time I spend arguing against him? Zero. An Atheist claims they don’t believe in God, yet can’t keep quiet about Him.

It seems like time flies by so fast during my leisure time. I really need to get good night’s sleep tonight so I can operate at full energy tomorrow. Last night I tossed and turned in bed, and I couldn’t sleep properly so I’ve been tired all day long.

Yesterday a man walked into my food bank after closing. He had his little son with him. Tears were frozen on his face because he had walked a good 40 minutes in the blistering -36c cold, and would have to walk back home with his son and heavy food. I will always remember his face like it was a stunning National Geographic photo. His son was very small, maybe 7 years old, and I can only imagine the hardened man he will become because of his circumstances as a youth. He reminded me of myself when I was young. Never enough food, never enough money, and always a problem. Teachers yelling at me because my homework wasn’t done, and I could barely hear the lecture because my stomach was growling so loudly.

He tried several times to wipe his tears away with his scarf, but they were completely frozen. His voice was cracked and obviously very sad. I gave him the best box of food I could, stuffing it with as many extras as possible, and invited him and his son to church.

I’ll work harder towards building up the food bank supplies so we have more to give. We run out almost every week these days, especially in the winter, and people are complaining that I give out too much spaghetti — believe me, I agree.

It breaks my heart to see these situations. Running a food bank is more than giving out food, it’s about caring for people, and giving out hope. But listen, most of the time their worst problem isn’t a lack of food; these people are telling me that their biggest problem is a broken spirit. If you have to walk an hour to get food, walk an hour back home, when you don’t have money for even a bus fare, what do you do? I’ve been there so many times.

I have to stop reading the news. Today at the office I read on Yahoo News about the Christians that are fleeing Indonesia right now because people of another religion have executed war against them. They have already burned down 10 churches today. I read articles about the young girls that are raped and then thrown into fires because they converted to Christianity, yet this other religion claims they are a religion of peace – when do we get to see some of that peace?

I read articles about torment and great persecution and great atrocities against our missionaries, our own brothers and sisters in Christ. I know so many missionaries personally in Indonesia that this scares the crap out of me. All of them are completely peaceful and harmless people who are there building schools and hospitals, not for other Christians, but for same religion that are killing us off! These people hate us but they love our money. Even myself personally, since I converted to Jesus in 1997, have been endlessly harassed here in Mississauga so many times. I’ve been punched, mocked, threatened with death. Yes, in the great city of Mississauga by random “peaceful” you-know-who’s, who demand I convert back or suffer. Sorry sir, but you are in Canada now, and I’ll gladly buy you a ticket back to the Middle East where you belong.

When I became a Christian in 1997, my own family kicked me out, and I didn’t get to visit with them or see them for about 2 full years. I took every Sunday to fast and pray, and one by one, they’ve been giving their life to Christ since then. I’m still known as Asif Zamir the trouble maker because of what I’ve done. Leading people to Jesus is a crime where I’m from.

At the same time, churches and Christians need to stop being so annoying and petty and stupid and start working together and stop competing against each other. Stop all the nonsense, and start doing what Jesus commanded us to do. Ugh, I’m stressed. I’m going to sleep.

-Asif Zamir