This month we’re praying for the city of Manama, the capital of Bahrain. To give you a little insight into what’s happening on the ground, we’re sharing a story from a brother who lives in Bahrain. Meet Isam.*
Isam had been looking for Christian resources in Arabic when he found our ministry website. At the bottom of the page is a number to message our response team via WhatsApp. After connecting, Isam shared his story…
I’d been taking a class with a group of foreigners and had befriended a guy called Nathan*. He was kind and helpful. One day after class, he pulled me aside. He told me he was a Christian. He said his church was having a party at the end of the week, and I should join him.
I was very hesitant. I’d never been to a church before, and I had no idea what to expect. What if there was dancing? Or alcohol? But I trusted my friend, and part of me wanted to find out what it was like. I decided to go.
My friend had taken a huge risk telling me he was a Christian.
It was amazing — Not like I’d imagined it at all! Nathan’s friends were so friendly and made me feel like I was very welcome even though I was an outsider. Over the next few weeks, I went with my friend to his church. People started telling me about their faith and about becoming a Christian. My new friends even gave me a Bible. I didn’t understand much — I’m from North Africa, and they’re from Asia. They’re so kind and lovely, but they explain things differently to how I think. I wanted someone to answer my questions in a way I understood, but I was too afraid to go to an Arab church. Despite all this, I felt more and more drawn to Christ.
As I was sitting in my home one afternoon, I began thinking over what had happened in these recent weeks. My friend had taken a huge risk telling me he was a Christian. And these people at the church were sharing with me, a Muslim. Why do this? Why take the risk? They might get arrested… maybe even deported!
I felt overwhelmed. The tears spilt from my eyes and rolled down my face. I didn’t know what else to do, so I began praying with my whole heart, and I called out to Jesus. Immediately, I felt his peace. I couldn’t contain the joy welling up inside me. I had to sing. Worship songs filled the room. I didn’t understand what I was singing in English, but I knew God heard me. I sang in Arabic too.
Soon after that, I tried to find out more about Christianity. I wanted to know if there was more out there in Arabic. And that’s when I found your website. You explain the Bible in a way that makes sense to me.
I’m trying to talk to my family and friends about my faith, telling them about the relationship I have with Christ. You can just come before him, just as you are. People don’t get that. And it’s hard because they don’t want to doubt Islam. Muslims believe that the Bible is corrupt. God’s word cannot be corrupt!
My life has been transformed, and now I want to serve the Lord.
We protect the identities of all our contacts by choosing pseudonyms for each one. Isam means ‘security, promise’, and we felt this name reflected this young man’s testimony. We rejoice that Isam has found security in God’s promise of love.
- Praise God that Isam decided to dedicate his life to Jesus. Pray for him as he grows in his faith and understanding of the Bible.
- Intercede for Isam’s family and friends. Though they have said they ‘do not want to doubt Islam,’ pray that their hearts will be open and receptive to the gospel.
- We are grateful that Bahrain is more open and tolerant of religious expression than other Gulf countries. However, evangelising Muslims is illegal. Pray for the safety of seekers and new believers as they explore Christianity. Pray also for the existing believers as they live out their faith and disciple Arabs who want to know Christ.
Encourage one another
We love sharing these encouraging testimonies with you. God is moving in the Arab world and transforming lives from Mauritania to Oman. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us, ‘Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.’ Encourage a family member or a friend by sharing Isam’s story via email or Facebook // Instagram // Twitter and tag us @arabworldmedia.
*Name changed. Image for illustrative purposes