From Persecuted to Welcomed

*Ibu Mun had been a young single woman when she visited her family shortly after becoming a Christian. Her home village is in an area that is nearly 100 percent Muslim, and the whole community was cold to her as she made her way to her uncle’s house. People from this village were born Muslim and were expected to stay that way.

She longed for her mother to know the transforming power of Isa al Masih, Jesus Christ, but instead, Ibu Mun was cornered by her mother, aunt, and uncle as they interrogated her about her new faith. They told her she would have to marry a Muslim man and return to Islam. It seemed clear that they were going to force her to do just that. (Kidnapping young women and forcing them to marry is quite common here.)

Throughout the altercation, Isa al Masih proved to be her refuge and strength. Before she found an opportunity to slip away to the bus station, Ibu Mun was able to demonstrate the love of Christ to her mother though she received only insults and hatred.

Now, six years later, Ibu Mun is married to a godly man, and they have two young sons together. She has been discipled and trained to be a leader in Disciple Making Movements. Recently, that same village has welcomed her back, inviting her to set up a playgroup for 3 to 4-year-olds along with a DBS on the theme of Biblical parenting.

Seeing whole Muslim households interacting with the Word of God and even forming house fellowships is richly satisfying. More than that, Ibu Mun has seen, despite what man threatens, that one can be satisfied with Christ’s sufficiency. God alone is enough.

*pseudonym

Lailat Al-Qadr – Night of Power

Lailat Al-Qadr (the Night of Power, Night of Destiny, or Night of Decree) is the holiest night of Ramadan. It is the night when Mohammed is thought to have begun receiving the Quran. The exact night is disputed, so Muslims hold special observances for the last ten days of Ramadan. Some will practice itikaf, a sort of spiritual retreat where one stays in a mosque for the whole ten days in order to worship and attach oneself closer to God.

The Night of Power is said to be worth 1000 months and, as the gates of Paradise are open for this one night, it carries blessings beyond those of other nights during Ramadan. It is believed that if on this night, Muslims stays awake and apply themselves to prayer, meditation, and the reading of the Quran, their previous sins will be forgiven and the rest of the year, which is determined on Al-Qadr, will be blessed.

This night has been significant in recent history for the Church as well. There have been numerous accounts of Muslims who after earnestly and passionately seeking a revelation of God over Al-Qadr met Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah) in their dreams.  Typically these dreams reveal, in whole or in part, the true way to righteousness with God, a relationship with Jesus Christ. These dreams have been instrumental in bringing the Gospel into areas previously prohibited for evangelism. Several of our partners have said Ramadan is one of the most fruitful times for evangelism due to a Muslim’s heightened spiritual focus.

We ask, therefore, that you would petition our Lord with fervent prayers on behalf of Muslims over these last days of Ramadan. Pray that Muslims who are seeking to know God would discover the Way, God’s Son, Jesus.

WAYS TO PRAY:

  • Muslims are seeking God more intentionally on this night than any other. Pray that Jesus will reveal Himself through dreams and visions.
  • What do you think Muslims are asking God for on the Night of Destiny? What would you ask for? Be inspired by Matthew 7:7–12.
  • Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:9–13. Pray together with all those who are participating in 30 Days of Prayer around the world this year for His kingdom to come.

Want to Fix the Broken Patterns in Your Life?

In the Muslim context where she lives and ministers, *Anna follows the cultural norm and rarely speaks directly to men. The Holy Spirit, however, sometimes orchestrates exceptions.

Angking, a SaSumBi man in his early twenties, was Anna’s server one day in the neighborhood restaurant. As he poured her cup of coffee, Anna shared that her husband would not be able to join her and that they were both followers of Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah), the straight and true way. *Angking did not hurry away at this news.

Instead, they began sharing information about their families. Angking shared about his siblings, and Anna described her precious grown children. In the course of their conversation, Anna asked, “Angking, in what ways would you like to emulate your father and in what ways would you like to be different?”

Angking shared an all too common scenario among his people. His father had “kidnapped” his mother, made her his bride, gotten her pregnant and then abandoned her with an easily acquired letter of divorce. Anna asked if he knew of a new way to be a SaSumBi man. Angking shook his head, and Anna proceeded to share faith in Christ, the only way to be made new.

Anna then asked if Angking, his family, and friends would like to get together with her husband, Evan, to discuss stories from the life of Moses, the Psalms, and the Gospels. “It is only when we meet up with (God’s) heart for mankind that our broken patterns can be transformed.”

Angking accepted this offer, and Evan has since met with Angking and one of his friends, leading them through the first Discovery Bible Study story.

Please pray that the Holy Spirit will stir Angking and his household with the longings to know the only source of personal transformation and give him a desire to form an ongoing Discovery Group with Evan and a local partner.

*pseudonyms

WAYS TO PRAY

  • During this month of Ramadan, ask the Holy Spirit to stir up a holy longing in the hearts of Muslims.
  • Pray they would have eyes to see the futility of any attempt to know the one and only Holy God, save through Christ alone.
  • Ask the Lord to bring into sharp focus the process of making reproducing disciple makers to laborers who work among Muslim Unreached Peoples.

A Modern Day Luke 10 Story

Though they didn’t know where they would spend the night, Natalie* and her friends followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit and traveled to a new town in the large Muslim nation where they live. They were there to intercede for its people and see who the Father wanted them to meet.

Discovering a small cafe run by a local Muslim woman named Miriam*, the ladies entered the fragrant cafe and ordered a bite to eat. They were glad when they had the opportunity to pray with Miriam, asking God to bless her business with many customers.

As they sat eating the delicious food, Miriam, her husband, and their little girl stopped by their table. “You guys asked God for me to have many customers,” Miriam declared, “and I’ve had non-stop business this afternoon!” Natalie shared that they pray for people as a way of loving their neighbors as they love themselves.

The women were then able to share a Bible story while Miriam and her husband listened eagerly. Miriam insisted that Natalie and her friends stay the night at their home (Read another story about how hospitality is practiced among Muslims) before more customers took the family back to their work. 

Later that evening, these young Christian women were able to meet many of the family’s relatives and neighbors at Miriam’s home. They stayed up late into the night chatting with their new friends.

Pray that the Lord would open up opportunities to study, discuss, and obey the Word together with Miriam and her community.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 that God “uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.” Please pray that, as Ramadan, the month of fasting, continues, Miriam and her family would be drawn by the delicious aroma of the knowledge of Christ and give themselves over to His Lordship.

*pseudonyms used

Moving From Evil Spirits to the Holy Spirit

After the first visit to the village, Amy and Ryan felt there was a heavy blanket laying over the hearts and minds of the Muslims in the area. The villagers practice a type of folk Islam which embraces the animistic spirits over a given territory. “There is a strong Jin (spirit) in our area,” villagers told the couple. “That spirit is the one whom we trust to guide us in our Islamic devotion.”

Amy and Ryan continued to visit the area, endeavoring to bring the light of the gospel to its people. Though hopeful of finding a Person of Peace in an old woman believed to be the village shaman, no fruit came from any encounter with her. She met every peace-filled statement, every offer of care and prayer for her physical and spiritual needs with cantankerous and stubborn rejection.

The Lord, however, was preparing a bystander to become a Person of Peace, receptive to the gospel message. One of the woman’s adult sons and his family were drawn by the Holy Spirit and are discovering the reality of God and His Word. They meet together with one of Amy and Ryan’s national partners to read and study the Bible in a Discovery Bible Study.

Pray that this family would decide to follow Jesus. Pray that the Lord would use them to open up the entire village and its neighbors to a movement of the Holy Spirit. For when the Holy Spirit comes to them, he will guide them into all truth, bearing witness to Christ.