Girls´ Dormitory Opens Hearts in an Arab Country

Christian Aid sent funds to help build a dormitory for young women who come to the city to attend school. Construction in the past year was recently completed.

Some indigenous ministries have found an effective way to reach Muslims for Christ within Islamic countries. They provide safe, affordable housing for young women who are attending state universities.

When these highly intelligent girls leave their small home towns for study in a big city, finding a suitable place to stay can be their number one problem. And it affects tens of thousands of them. In some Islamic countries, the number of women students enrolled in the universities is equal to, or even exceeds, the number of men.

Their families want them to be highly educated for the benefit of all, and many succeed far beyond their wildest expectations. The three largest Islamic countries in the world (Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey) have each had women elected to be the Prime Minister of their respective countries. Many other women serve as engineers, physicians, scientists, parliament members and other high positions in Muslim countries. So obtaining higher education is worth the sacrifice many must make of being housed in an undesirable location while attending a major university.

Partial view of new building.

One ministry based in an Arab country has seen this need as an opportunity to open the hearts of young Muslim women toward the gospel of Christ. With financial help from Christian Aid they constructed a two-story dormitory with four bedrooms plus bathrooms on each floor. Three girls stay in each room, so the total in residence is 24. The students feel safe in the facility, especially since they are living under the protection and oversight of caring Christian women. And, needless to say, family members back home are thrilled to know that their daughters have such an ideal place to live while away in the big city.

In the universities, students are taught to be open to new ideas as part of their liberal education, so the girls readily receive Bibles offered to them by their hosts. And some are very open to discuss the similarities between the Christian faith and Islam, as well as differences such as the deity of Christ, His substitutionary death for our sins, and salvation by grace through faith, not by works.

When the girls go home during holidays, some of them share with their families how these Christians are really wonderful people, and not at all like some Islamic extremists have portrayed them. So the long term witness of the dormitory ministry can be far-reaching to many smaller cities and towns.

Ministry leaders provide discussion groups and monthly social programs for the girls to which they can invite their friends from the university. Following the discussions, those who want to learn more are invited to attend regular Bible studies, and to talk with Christian soul winners who can explain the gospel and answer their questions.

Each of the students pays a modest rent which covers the cost of operating and maintaining the dormitory. And during school breaks the building is used as a guesthouse for visiting missionaries and for conducting Christian conferences. The leader of this ministry wrote, "We praise God for using Christian Aid to provide necessary funds for the construction of this dormitory, because it opens so many doors to the gospel in our country."