REACHING HARD PLACES – Part 1
“I’m terrified of death, when my whole life will be presented before God and will be judged. That’s why I go to the cemetery often to hear the cries of those in hell telling me to be a good person and not to sin.”
Recently, a local Karis man shared this reflection with of one of our missionaries. This is the reality for even the most righteous of Muslims. For them, the afterlife is a huge question mark, and their religion is marked by fear. Our missionary was able to share the peace he has in Christ with this man. This man follows Islam’s teachings very closely and had no respect for believers until he met our missionary.
Christ calls us to the hard places—the places where people like this man live.
CENTRAL ASIAN MUSLIMS
At the age of 19, Ben,* a young Nune man, won the green card lottery and headed to “The Promise Land” for work and study. When an American invited this Central Asian Muslim to church, he felt it would be rude to refuse. Ever so personally, God began calling Ben until he was ready to give his life to Jesus.
Ben began praying for a believing Nune wife. Little did he know that in his very own village, God had given a young lady a dream with a very clear picture of a book. Sometime later, while visiting his family in Central Asia, Ben mentioned having a book. The young woman overheard and pressed him for it. Holding the New Testament in her hands, she recognized it as the book in her dream and soon trusted Jesus with her life.
Listening to these newlyweds’ story confirmed a growing conviction: reaching Muslims in North America is part of God’s plan for reaching the world. It’s good to be in this together—at home and abroad.
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Sitting at a local café over lunch, Jane,* a Global Partners missionary, heard something she had never heard from a Nune person: “The group you meet with, I think it’s like a church family for you. We don’t have that.” Where on earth had Mary* come up with the term church family? When Mary studied for her master’s degree in the United States, her neighbors invited her to come to their small group. Mary noticed their sincere love and care for each other. Despite living in a highly relational Nune culture, Mary feels her own family and Islamic gatherings are lacking. We’re praying that the seed of church family that was planted in Mary in North America would grow into a church family movement in Nuneland!
MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS IN EUROPE
Recently, four young Afghan men stop by the European refugee ministry center that our team partners with. After welcoming these men with tea and board games, a volunteer and our believing interpreter offered to show them a film about Jesus in their language. They agreed and moved into an adjoining room to watch. Almost immediately, one of the men became very uneasy with the content and excused himself. About ten minutes later, a second man wanted to leave, and he convinced one of his friends to leave with him. The fourth man stayed and watch the entire JESUS film. For hours after it ended, he asked many questions that were patiently answered. When he was asked if he wanted to accept Jesus, he said yes! Pray that our new brother would remain strong in his newfound faith. Pray that the seed planted in good soil would take root and bear much fruit (Mark 4:15-20).
*For security reasons, all last names and some full names have been omitted. Many first names have been changed.