July to September 2019
‘I felt a spiritual emptiness in me. Something was lacking in my life, so I began searching for the truth. One night, Jesus appeared to me in a dream. Seeing him there in my room, I felt love and security. I knew that the truth I was seeking could not be found in Islam but in Jesus.’
Mansoor* is a middle-aged man and has been a Muslim all his life, yet he was immediately convinced that Christ was the only way. Our responder in the media team was concerned for his safety as apostasy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. To this, Mansoor replied:
‘I adore Jesus. I will pay the price for my beloved and my Saviour. Of course, because I am in Saudi, I will keep my faith secret. I do want to be baptised, though it’s too dangerous to do it here. Can you help me?’
I will be with you
You Are Not Alone is our theme for this year. Scripture is full of examples of God’s faithfulness to his people through the ages. While preparing this report, We were deeply inspired by God’s words in the first chapter of Joshua.
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. – Joshua 1:5b–6 [NIV]
In terms of strategy, this made zero human sense. Camping out in the desert for forty years wasn’t exactly a strong starting point. Joshua didn’t know what to expect. He knew he was responsible for leading some 600,000 people into the Promised Land – but it was into enemy territory. This job was beyond his own ability.
But God was with him. Underpinning the Lord’s command to Joshua to be strong and courageous was the three-times-repeated promise to be with him. Because God promised never to leave him, Joshua could step out in faith.
God is still with his people. And he still calls on us to move forward in his strength alone. At Arab World Media, every day we are reminded that God is always with us. Because he is on our side, we are empowered with his strength and given the courage to share the message of his goodness throughout the Arab world.
The statistics: July to September 2019
Four times a year, we review the results of our online efforts. Have a look at the encouraging results below.
We reached fewer users on Facebook this quarter but still had 1.2 million clicks on our content. There hasn’t been a specific effort to boost visits to our Arabic website, yet it continues to garner a large number of visitors.
Due to a change in online ads, Bible downloads were down 3,000 from last quarter. However, a gradual increase of new social media subscribers means that people are reading biblical content across our platforms.
We are ecstatic that 158 individuals came to faith, almost twice as many as last quarter! Our follow up teams are discipling many individuals online, and continue to encourage our contacts to make local connections.
The people behind the stats
Tell me more
Abzi* was drawn to Christianity by two of his friends who encouraged him to find out more about the faith. One of his friends was a Christian from a traditional church; the other was a new believer from a Muslim background. Abzi wanted to know more before committing himself, so one of our responders had many in-depth discussions with him. Abzi was so open that he was willing to meet with someone face-to-face to learn more. Soon a meeting took place with local believers, and before long, they told us that he had confessed faith in Jesus. Our local partners will begin a Bible study with him shortly.
Leaving Islam behind
Syrian refugee, Rita*, fled her country after enduring terrorism and trauma. She decided to leave Islam behind her, too. She then began her pursuit for the real God. Exploring many platforms online, Rita came across our online ministry and submitted a request for contact. After many exchanges with one of our responders, she declared that she accepted eternal life with Jesus. She went on to say,
‘Christ is God who came in the flesh to take the sins of the world. He freed me from sin. I am hoping to share the good news with people so that they can be freed and saved like me.’
‘I want to follow my Saviour’
‘I was in the middle of a big crowd. But only one person caught my attention. I knew right away that it was Jesus. As soon as I woke up, I started searching for Jesus, and that’s what brought me to you.’
Our responder discovered that Abed* had never been in contact with Christians before. After he heard about salvation in Jesus, he said, ‘I want to follow my Saviour.’ He accepted Christ there and then. Abed is excited to meet local believers and study the gospel with them.
Some ways to pray
Please continue to pray for this precious region. There are so many people across the diverse Arab nations who need to hear the good news. We ask you to lift Arab World Media to the Lord, praying that we keep Christ at the front and centre of our work. We can do nothing by our own strength. Only as we live in the promise that he is always with us, can we step out to be strong and courageous. Please also pray for daily spiritual sustenance for each person in the response team as they interact with seekers.
* Names changed for security.