The Gospel is going to the unreached places, to places we are taught to fear and cultures we often shun. There is a true awakening taking place amongst Muslims! They are coming to Jesus like never before, quite literally by the thousands. But it isn’t without cost.
Let Me Tell You One of Their Stories
A young Muslim man came to Jesus a year ago. He began helping us secretly print New Testaments in his father’s print shop in a province where it’s illegal to print or own a New Testament. He would work through the night to print the books and then go out during the day to pass them out in the community. One day his father came in early to the print shop and caught him.
This is a shame and honor culture, and by becoming a Christian the young man had brought great shame on his family. So the father set out to make sure the son either recanted his faith or was properly punished.
Persecution is Real
The son was placed into isolation, and they attempted to starve him until he renounced his faith in Christ. When starvation didn’t work, they brought in an imam to try to “re-educate” him. The only problem was that this imam had also made a decision to follow Christ, so instead of brow beating the young man when they were behind closed doors, the imam encouraged the young man in his faith.
Many in his local Christian community were praying diligently for the young man while he was isolated at his family’s compound in the dessert for months. He got access to a phone one day and made a phone call to one of his Christian friends. The first words out of his mouth were “celebrate with me.”
The friend immediately assumed he had gained his freedom, but that was far from what was happening. The young man’s whole family had gathered at his father’s home in the dessert for what seemed to be a family reunion. They all ate and drank in what felt like a great celebration.
After the meal the father quieted the family so he could make an announcement, and there in front of all of the brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles, the father announced he had poisoned his son’s food because he had refused to renounce his faith in Christ. He gave the son one more opportunity and told him if he would renounce his faith they would take him to the hospital to have his stomach pumped, otherwise he would have only a day or so to live.
It was that night he called his friend and said “celebrate with me, because I’m going to get to see Jesus!”
Can You Imagine?
Can you imagine poisoning your own son in front of your entire family?
But can you also imagine being so committed to your faith in Christ that your first instinct when facing eminent death is to tell your friends to “celebrate”?
This is the reality for many believers around the world, but the Gospel will not be stopped. Will you pray with us, will you give with us, to see Jesus proclaimed in the hard places?