Greg's Blog

Always Faithful: The Story of Kareem Nikoui

by Greg Laurie on Nov 11, 2021


Over the 30 years we’ve done crusade evangelism, we’ve seen over 500,000 people make commitments to Christ. It’s a staggering number of people, and we thank God for that. 

But for me, it’s all about individual stories. I think of a young man in particular who came to the SoCal Harvest in 2016. His name was Kareem Nikoui, and his father was determined for all his children to come to Christ. 

And when I gave the invitation, he came down onto the field at Angel Stadium and gave his life to Christ. Not long after that, at the age of 18, Kareem joined the Marine Corps, something he had been looking forward to ever since he’d been a little boy. 

Tragically, Kareem was one of the 13 service members who died in Kabul, Afghanistan in that terrorist bombing. At his memorial, at which I was privileged to speak, his father said, “That’s the only thing that mattered to me, him coming to Jesus, nothing else mattered, I was so proud of that moment.”

Kareem is a true hero, who more than deserves recognition and accolades for his actions. But even more than that, because of his faithfulness to the Lord, Kareem has received a reward in Heaven.

As I said at the memorial service, “The motto of the Marine Corps is Semper Fi. It means ‘Always Faithful.’ Kareem was both faithful and full of faith in Christ.”

Scripture tells us “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:7-8).

On this Veterans Day, we should all show our gratitude for those serving or who have served in the armed forces—and we should comfort the families of those who have made the greatest sacrifice.

Read more of my thoughts on Veterans Day here.

Learn more about Pastor Greg Laurie.

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