Two Families and The Gospel
16 Jul 2018
Two weeks ago, we had a guest at our Pioneers office, a beautiful Christian brother from the Middle East. He shared with us that one of the main challenges for new believers from a Muslim background is the lack of discipleship. There is virtually none available on the ground for the many thousands of believers who need to hide their faith.
Then he told us two stories that occurred in the last few months:
The eldest brother in a Muslim family asked his mother and sister; “Where do you go every Sunday morning? Every Sunday morning, every week, at the same time? He pressed them to confess that they were attending a specific church in a specific location. Then the brother said; “Well if you had told me you were going to this church, I would have told you that I am going to a much more nearby church every Sunday.”
That is an incredibly rare and amazing thing that God has done in the life of that family! The second story is more sobering …
There is a church in the country our guest is from that is very active in sharing the gospel with Muslim people. In that area, there is a world renowned Muslim university, and the senior pastor of that church told our guest that they are receiving many ‘top guys’ from the university into their fellowship. One young lady from the university came to faith in Jesus and was being discipled by the church. The senior pastor encouraged her to slow down and take time to grow in her faith before sharing, but she was so keen to share her faith with her family, she went to see her mother and told her what had happened. Soon after, she was poisoned (presumably by her own family) but miraculously she survived. Then a few months ago she disappeared. People from the church became concerned about where she was and what had happened. Apparently in that part of the world, if you want to find information you go and see the dry cleaner as they hear all the gossip (I guess it’s a bit like asking the local hairdresser)! So, some people from the church went to dry cleaner and asked about this particular lady’s family and how they were. The dry cleaner said: “Oh you mean that family whose daughter threw herself off the fourth-floor balcony?” And that is how the church found out that this young believer had gone to be with the Lord and was now able to see her saviour face to face. But we grieve for her earthy life, lost because of a misrepresentation of the character of God.
The guest in our office summed up his time of sharing with this appeal. Believers from a Muslim background in the Middle East need discipleship and grace. To know what it means to follow Christ, and to receive all the grace they need to be his disciples, even under intense persecution.
We can pray for that!