Muslims who hear the gospel from native Christian workers count a great cost before deciding to accept Him – their safety, health and ability to make a living are at risk in the face of opposition from family and neighbors. Already facing severe difficulties from an economy ravaged by war, they risk losing the social net that keeps them alive.
People attending Christmas celebrations in Iraq are open to receiving Bibles and the gospel. At one meeting last year, an Iranian girl from a refugee family who asked for a children’s Bible later raised her hand for prayer to receive Christ. Workers invite children to Christmas parties in villages and camps, where the children receive gifts and hear the gospel, as do their parents.
A father of three young children was pleased when they became involved in a native Christian ministry’s youth program, and when he was laid off from one of two jobs he had taken to support his family, a native Christian worker offered to pray for him.
When native Christian workers collected a church offering to bring to a needy family, upon arrival they were surprised to hear the daughter tell them she knew they were coming from Jesus. She told them that two nights prior she had dreamt of being in a beautiful garden where Jesus told her He would send her help.
Native Christian workers are seeing the Lord do amazing things. After much prayer and outreach, workers began a fellowship of Iranian refugees in one town, and in another city, a new home fellowship has begun as 12 people recently put their faith in Christ. Each week after Sunday worship, workers and church members travel to two cities more than 80 miles away to share the gospel and lead services.
Native Christian workers have continued to faithfully bring word of the kingdom of God to the lost, with more than 600 people hearing the gospel over six months. Among the means of creating opportunities to share Christ were visits to Holocaust survivor groups and a weekly children’s Bible club, resulting in kids’ parents or grandparents attending worship services.
A Syrian refugee mother in Jordan had no money to treat debilitating illness, much less her children’s schooling, and they asked her why they couldn’t learn to read and write like other kids. Bombings had driven the family of nine from Syria, but not before dust and other pollutants of war had exacerbated her asthma.
“My condition continued to worsen as I suffered severe chest pains and struggled to breathe,” Rojda* said.
Her face riddled with anxiety, a Muslim woman told members of a Bible study group in Syria that her son had a high fever, and that she could not afford any medical care. She had heard that the Christians prayed, and she asked if they would pray for her son. “You know that we pray to Jesus, right?” the group leader said.
In evangelism training for Christians who were raised as Muslims, new believers from every province enjoyed fellowship as they learned how to share the Bible with Muslims. Native ministry workers also taught them ways for Christians of Muslim upbringing to meet the dangers of living in Islamic society in a way pleasing to the Lord.
In a country in economic shambles from war, workers providing aid and emotional support have many opportunities to share Christ. A Muslim woman who regularly visited a home fellowship often disturbed services, but then one evening she admitted she was in spiritual bondage and needed prayer.