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by Christine Platt
Edited by Wendy Bytheway
Here are two wonderful stories I heard in Bangladesh:
I met a young Muslim couple; let's call them Peter and Mary, who had their first baby. A Christian pastor was in their area, teaching people about God using the GRN flipcharts. They didn't like the pastor at all. But their baby was crying, so Mary walked up to show bub the picture in the hope the distraction would stop the crying. Bub did stop and Mary found herself listening to the pastor.
Peter came along, saw them listening to the pastor and so he went to see what they were doing. He also started to listen. Two days later Peter asked the pastor to tell him more stories. The pastor gave him Look, Listen & Live 1 (GRN resources) and a Bible. Peter believed in Christ, soon afterwards Mary also believed, and later they were baptised.
However, their family found out. The couple were kicked out of their village, losing their home and land. After taking refuge in another village, they were once again forced to leave.
A Bible Institute gave them a place to stay, and there they learned the basics of the Christian life which gave them a good foundation and a place to belong for a year. But once the course was over they had nowhere to go.
A few Christians decided to pool their resources and provide for the couple's basic needs. In time a Christian ministry gave Peter gardening work and Mary, sewing. Recently Peter rang his mother. She was angry and asked, "why aren't you dead yet?"
I asked them if following Christ was worth all the trouble it has caused them. They were smiling when they said that with what Christ has done for them they will never forget Him.
I met a man; let's call him Mark. Though Mark was from a middle class Muslim family there was a Bible in his house which he and his brother used to read when young.
He married a rich girl but her family were not happy about the union so had him gaoled on false charges. While traumatised and anxious in gaol, words from the Bible came into his mind, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." He called out to Jesus asking Him for rest and promising to seek after Jesus and follow Him if He did.
Jesus gave Mark peace of mind. He realised that his wife had to be partially complicit in her marrying another man - she had to sign the marriage certificate. So he let her go. On his release from gaol his family found him another wife immediately, as they were concerned about his state of mind (arranged marriages are the norm).
Mark tracked down a pastor he had known. The pastor was cautious, but eventually believed that Mark was serious in his desire to know God. He completed a two-week theological course and was baptised. He prayed for an opportunity to serve God, and God has graciously opened up a fruitful ministry for him. Mark's wife was openly hostile initially but has come around over the years.
Mark recently had to move because his Muslim neighbours took offence at his changed allegiances and began making his life difficult. Fortunately his new home is working out well.
We have brothers and sisters around the world willing to pay a high price to follow Christ. Many also pay a high price to take the good news about Jesus to the ends of the world. Let us stand beside them as we can, be encouraged by their courage and challenged about the demands we make and the sacrifices we are willing to make for our wonderful Saviour. He is mighty to save.
Opportunity to give ...
We have recently started distributing our materials in difficult to reach nations like Bangladesh through Facebook advertising.
Our gospel messages appear in video format in the feeds of tens of thousands of Facebook users, and thousands are watching them.
If you would like to donate $100 or more, we would be pleased to share with you how many people watched your video, and how many then interacted further, such as by "liking" the page or video, or by commenting on it, or sharing it with their friends.
This is a significant opportunity to provide a clear presentation of the gospel to many who have not yet heard it.
Please Pray for . . .
- Converts from Islam, like Peter and Mary and Mark who follow Christ at great cost to themselves and their families.
- For Muslims to have the opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus in a way that makes sense to them.
- For courage, wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit for the pastors and evangelists sharing Jesus in Muslim communities.
- For God's leading and provision for the distribution via Facebook.