Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading… (1 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)
The mental model of Muslim men and women throughout the Middle East – who believe that the law of their God brings peace and promotes prosperity, human dignity and honour – is in contrast to their real life experience. Already, during the first quarter of 2017, the world has witnessed pedestrians run down in London, children killed by chemical weapons in Syria and other unimaginable acts of violence in Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, France and other places – purportedly to acknowledge that their God is the greatest.
In the first three months of 2017, Arab World Media’s response team actively engaged with 2,886 Muslims who are seeking hope and freedom. They tell how they have become disillusioned with Islam and are looking for alternatives that will change their lives and their society. Arab World Media uses social media to connect with Arabic speaking spiritual seekers from the majority population in the Arab world. When seekers connect and engage, we tell them how Jesus can make them a new creation, bringing hope to their lives. A man from Egypt told one of our responders…
When you spoke to me about Jesus and his love and how he sacrificed himself to atone for our sins, my heart was touched and I wept. I went out for a walk and I sensed that he was near to me, that he saw me. When I came home, I found your website again and continued our conversation. What you said confirms to me that God loves us and that he was prepared to sacrifice himself for us and that it is now simple for us to come into his presence. In Islam, it’s completely different.
We give glory to God that 109 Muslim seekers decided to follow Jesus while talking with a member of our response team between January and the end of March 2017.
‘How can I become a Christian?’ was the question that Samia* asked Habib* from our response team. She is one of our Facebook page visitors from Algeria. He was surprised at her question, because this young lady was one of many seemingly closed and fiercely Islamic contacts. She had posted harsh and negative comments about the Christian faith. Habib asked her to contact him privately on WhatsApp and then answered her question, together with many others that she put to him.
In one of their conversations, Habib asked Samia why she wanted to become a Christian. She replied, ‘Because I have made a serious search and I now believe that the gospel is true’. He then asked her to pray a prayer of repentance and trust in Christ, which she did. She said, ‘I feel peace in my heart and tears are running down my cheeks’.
Brothers and sisters, there are many young people like Samia in the different countries of the Arab world. They have abandoned the convictions they were brought up with and have chosen to put their trust in Christ as Lord and Saviour. So, rejoice with us, because you are enabling us to labour and our labour is not in vain in the Lord.
As we persevere in prayer for our broken world and contemplate the injustice, suffering and persecution all around us, we take courage from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18…
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (ESV)
* Names have been changed.