At the end of August, millions of Muslims from across the globe will head to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. They will be taking part in the Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam and a pilgrimage every Muslim must strive to make at least once in their lifetime.
If you want to find out more about the Hajj and how you can pray, we highly recommend the Pray4Saudi website.
You probably know that only Muslims may enter the city of Mecca, the holiest site in Islam and the central focus of the Hajj. Because of this ruling, it would be natural to assume that those who live within Mecca’s walls are impossible to reach. But the following account from one of our responders confirms that the Holy Spirit knows no bounds…
Christ is my light
Jadd* from Mecca first wrote to us in early January 2016. This is his first message…
Christ is the light and my Saviour from sin. He is grace and peace and love. He is truly my God. I pray that he may stay with us. I thank him for every good thing and ask him to protect us.
Jadd’s exchanges with our team became deeper, and he had lots of questions. Here are some of the questions he asked in March 2016…
I know there are many different Christian denominations. Which one should I follow? Do they have different beliefs? How did God the Father in heaven cause his son to have a human body in the womb of Mary?
More than once we asked Jadd if he would like to meet with a local believer, but he never took this further. No doubt he felt it was too dangerous. However, in June 2016 he told us he was part of an online church.
Here are two messages we received around that time…
I’ve now been following Christ for some months. I have believed in him as my Lord and Saviour. Now I’m at the stage of growing, becoming a disciple and deepening my knowledge of this marvelous Lord who died for my sins on the cross.
Sometimes I feel that Satan is attacking me. I feel this struggle and Satan whispering to me, arousing doubts. But I think of the huge difference between the wonderful grace I now experience and the lost, confused state I was in before.
As his first Ramadan as a believer approached, Jadd anticipated challenges…
I’m living a life of love in my relationship with the Lord Jesus and I feel this love for him growing daily… I don’t want anything to spoil it. My new life is completely different from my old one, which was full of troubles, cares and a sense of slavery. At home, at work, among my friends and family I’m in a totally Islamic environment and the fasting month of Ramadan is now near. If I don’t fast or participate in the regular Muslim rituals, it could cause problems for me and arouse suspicions about me. But I don’t have anything to do with the slavish behaviour I used to follow. I thank the Lord that I’ve become a Christian. What is your advice?
Responder Mira* understood Jadd’s concerns and promised to pray for him. She advised him to fast with his family and friends, but go to his own room at prayer times. She also suggested that he leave the country for a short time. Jawaher*, another responder and a believer from Saudi, wrote to encourage Jadd too.
Hungry for the Word
Jadd has kept in touch since first contacting us. He has completed all of our online Bible studies and wants to continue studying.
In April 2017, he wrote to another responder, Adil*…
Thank you so much for keeping in touch with me. I’ve been a believer in Christ for more than a year now. However, my situation is so difficult and delicate that it’s impossible for me to meet with anyone. But the Lord has worked in my life. Every person needs that moment when his life changes. The Holy Spirit has come to live in me and has changed my life from hatred and rejection of others to happiness, love and peace. I ask the Lord to grant me eternal life. No one should be blind to the darkness we live in here. I pray to the Lord Jesus who sacrificed himself for us, asking that he may return soon to save all humanity from the oppression and darkness we live in. May he enlighten people’s hearts just as he enlightened mine.
Jadd is a sincere believer, wholly committed to Christ. He longs to share his faith with his family. His story shows the challenges and loneliness of a believer in the heartland of Islam. We thank God for his faith and spiritual progress. We continue to be in touch with him, assuring him of our prayers and concern for his situation.
Saudi Arabia is a closed country in many senses, but clearly not all of its people are closed to the gospel. From January to June 2017, Saudi nationals were the fourth highest nationality visiting our ministry website. During this period we had 1,060 interactions with individuals in Saudi. Of these, 295 were in active contact with one of our responders and 14 made professions of faith.
Praise God that even in Islam’s birthplace there is hope and longing for Jesus Christ.
*Names have been changed.