Friday, May 23, 2014

Testimony of a Muslim-Background Believer

S_____ teaches at a GC3 Camp in April, 2014
      S____ (name withheld for security purposes) fled for his life, his enraged father pursuing him with an axe. Having given his life to Christ, the 17-year-old was being disowned from his family. S_____’s father, a devout Nigerian Muslim, threw out all his belongings and physically chased him from the house with the intention of killing S_____ for becoming an infidel. This bitter experience is not uncommon for Muslim-background believers (MBBs). 
S_____ had been indoctrinated as a young boy with the belief that non-Muslims were condemned. In primary school he carried pictures illustrating the blessings awaiting Muslims in the afterlife and the torment awaiting non-Muslims. This provoked him to physically assault Christian students, and he gladly endured the beatings in the school assembly that were his punishment. He now describes his commitment to Islam as “fanatical.”
S_____ persisted in his new Christian faith in spite of the obstacles. His father continued to affect his life behind the scenes, collaborating with a Muslim instructor to have him transferred to an Arabic college. S_____ explains, “Fortunately, I failed the interview.” His father refused to sponsor his education and continued making credible death threats. His mother took a more conciliatory tone, not advocating violence, but pleading with him to return to Islam.

S_____ fled to the home of a Christian relative living in a city in a predominantly Muslim region which nevertheless has several churches. He began immediately to connect with other youth, talking with young Muslims about Jesus and the Bible.
In 2013, S_____ attended a GC3 camp organized by youth who had attended the Master Trainers’ Seminar in Jos, Nigeria, on the campus of ER’s School of Evangelism. He was taught to look for those whom the Spirit had already prepared—for a “man of peace,” as Jesus instructed in Luke 10:5-6. He also learned how to use statements about Jesus in the Koran as a bridge to the hearts and minds of Muslims. This approach would be less confrontational and safer for everyone, and would also result in increased fruitfulness.
     S_____ returned to his home city with a new methodology and a new resolve. The region is still mostly Muslim— every effort is made by local officials to frustrate and openly persecute all Christians, but especially MBBs. Energized and inspired by the GC3 seminar, S_____ began quietly to organize a camp for local youth. Last month (April of 2014), S______ conducted a GC3 camp at a secondary school with 43 youth in attendance, many of them MBBs.
     S_____ says, “I am grateful to God for showing me the light and revealing to me His grace. I thought I was on the right path until He showed me the way.”
     In Jos, ER's President remembers a Muslim-background believer (MBB) standing to his feet after the lesson about persecution. “When we wake in the morning, we never know whether we will be alive at the end of the day.” This is no exaggeration, and in the silence following his statement, St___ turned to D___ P___ and asked him to pray. P___, from India, is no stranger to persecution.
     He had been marked for death and tied to a tree by Hindus intent on killing him. Only his mother’s prayers and the providential arrival of the police prevented his death at that moment. As the group surrounded P___ and the MBB, earnest prayers for protection, courage, and perseverance ascended to the Throne of Grace. Will you add your “Amen” to those prayers?And will you commit to pray, as God leads you, for persecuted Christians around the world?  We must be faithful—lives are in the balance!

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