If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24 NLT)
Our theme for 2017 was based on Jesus’ invitation to follow him – an invitation that is given numerous times throughout the gospels. It is a caution as well as a promise. Jesus wants us to follow him with our eyes open; the road may not be easy (see above verse), but it will bring us heavenly treasures (Matthew 19:21) and will result in fruitfulness (Matthew 4:19).
The cost of following Christ in a Muslim-majority setting can be high, but in spite of this, a growing number of people are expressing interest in the Christian faith. Click on the image below to see some key statistics from 2017 in full size.
The infographic above shows the levels of engagement we had with our target audience in 2017. This is broken into low, medium and high engagement. It is the higher levels of engagement that we want to see increase because these show that people’s interest is growing.
If you’ve been following our ministry for the past few years or more, you will be encouraged to see that the number of people coming to faith with our responders has increased significantly over the past year.
Yes, 449 people made professions of faith in 2017, which is almost three times 2016’s figure of 151! We praise God that he is so clearly working in people’s hearts and minds.
We were also glad that more face to face meetings took place and people were significantly more engaged on social media than in the previous year.
We could share countless messages from those who have found hope in Christ. Over the past year, our responders have been in touch with people connected to Daesh (ISIS) and Al Qaida. Our Father’s love and mercy can transform even the hardest heart into one that is bursting with love for the Lord!
Here’s a more recent testimony from a Yemeni woman…
Dawa* is a married woman from Yemen, living temporarily in a neighbouring country. For a long time she had doubts about Islam. She was especially challenged by verses in the Qur’an that talked about killing.
Dawa had suffered severe bleeding for three months and had nearly died from her condition. She decided on her own to pray to Jesus and ask for healing. If the bleeding stopped she would seriously consider finding out about Christianity. The next day, the bleeding stopped and Dawa knew right away that this was a sign. She told her husband, but he tried his best to convince her that it was a coincidence. Deep inside, Dawa felt an eagerness to read the gospel, so she contacted us. Our responder sent her a digital copy and discussed it with her in depth. Dawa then prayed to accept Christ as her Saviour.
As the year unfolds, we’ll share more of what God has been doing. In the meantime, please pray for Dawa and others like her. Please also pray for our ministry team and for those with leadership responsibility. We are working in a place that is opposed to the message of the gospel and we want to be wise as serpents!
Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
*Name has been changed.
Note: We never use real images of the people we mention.