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When God Calls a Muslim Family to Faith

By John & Esther*, Aug 18, 2020

We came to the Middle East to serve among Muslims in January 2013, over seven years ago. In that time, we’ve been privileged to share the gospel, speak truth into peoples’ lives, meet and disciple some young believers, and develop relationships with people from a wide spectrum of society.

One thing nearly all of those opportunities have had in common is that they have been with individuals. We are grateful for each one of them, rejoicing when one sinner repents.

However, we have been praying that God would call whole families to Himself, not just individuals. As we have strategized and planned and shared and prayed, we have tried to orient everything toward groups and families rather than just individuals, both because the society we live in is highly family-oriented, and because we believe that God works through families and that “the promise is to you and to your children” (Acts 2:38).

In light of that, we were blown away recently with how God worked through a family and allowed us to be a part of it. We had been put in contact with Henry and Emma* previously, but since they don’t live in our city, we hadn’t been able to meet them. A couple of weeks ago they were able to come to our city so that we could meet them and hear their story. 

Seeds of doubt in Islam

Emma told us that throughout her whole life she questioned the validity of Islam. She believed that God was more concerned with the heart than with outward behavior. Henry went to college in the States and lived a wild life at first, but when he married Emma, he became extremely conservative in his beliefs and lifestyle. He was stern, harsh, and looked down on other people.

One day Emma confronted him and said, “You think God is pleased with you, but you are evil!” The thought that in spite of all his efforts to obey the law he might still be evil really shook him.

As a result, he began a long process of questioning his beliefs and searching for the truth. He began looking online for information about the Bible. This launched him on a journey where he read the Bible, atheist literature, and even went back into the Quran several times.

In the midst of that, Henry and Emma were not getting along. They fought all the time. It got so bad that she took the kids and went back to her family.

The turning point

One night, over a month into their separation, Henry was sitting in his house, thinking that their marriage was over. As he reflected on all that happened between them, he started searching again online about Jesus. He started reading the Word again. And he read more and more. And that same night, Emma wrote him, and they started to reconcile. 

It did not take long until he had embraced what he was reading and started sharing what he was learning with Emma, and she believed as well. As Henry encountered Jesus in the Word, his life started to change. Emma told us that while he used to be stern and harsh, now he is kind and encouraging to her and the children and willing to help around the house. 

Discipleship, baptism, and looking ahead

It was only a couple of months after Henry and Emma came to faith that they came to our house, and we studied Mark 1 together. We were trying to teach them a simple method that they could use to study the Word together when they got back to their hometown. They were both engaged and encouraging each other to soak it up so that they could continue it together when they returned home. 

But they also wanted to be baptized! We read through several cases in the book of Acts, and at every step, it was clear that they were ready for their whole family to take that step. To say that it was a privilege to ask them if they trusted in Jesus and then give them the sign of His family is a massive understatement.

We are rejoicing over their changed lives and their desire to follow Jesus. They are the only people in their city that know Jesus. They are actively wanting to share with their family, and are voraciously reading the Word, seeking to know Jesus more. 

Learn how you can serve among Muslims in the Middle East. Visit MTW’s Global Muslim Ministry page and browse opportunites.  

*Names have been changed.

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