This question seems to be on everyone’s mind. From Heads of State to the average Joe or Joanna on the street, people are wrestling with this dilemma. In the light of recent events in Europe with the migration of Syrian refugees, to the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris to radical Islamists acting out on our own soil in San Bernardino, these all share one thing in common – people of the Islamic religion. What was before a concern has now turned into a phobia highlighted by the overreaction of some prominent people who believe Muslims need to be turned away from America. There is now a wedge of prejudice and mistrust between average Americans and the Muslim community at large. Christians have not escaped this bias.
On our recent trip to Europe Gail and I came face-to-face with the problem. We had conversations with Christian leaders who are staunchly against Muslims infiltrating their borders for fear of what assimilation will mean to their culture and their personal safety. Conversely, we spoke with followers of Jesus who see the migration of Muslims as an opportunity to share Christ with displaced sojourners. These believers are setting up and visiting refugee camps, offering humanitarian aid and in some cases opening their homes to these strangers. Where would you see Jesus in this scenario?
Gail and I have a good friend who lives in Brussels, Belgium with his wife. He is of South African decent and is a “missionary” to Muslims. W. has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East sharing Jesus with Muslims and training Christians to minister to Muslims. He has been in Iran and Syria on numerous occasions. W.’s love for the people of Islam is inspiring.
Our friend recently shared this report with us from Brussels. (Remember, Brussels is where the Paris terrorists were reported to have come from and escaped to: a notorious safe haven for radicalized Islamists). I want you to hear his heart and relate with his passion.
“We are doing well in spite of all the happenings here in Brussels. One can feel the tension in the air. With all that is happening we have such opportunities as we have not had for centuries to share God’s love with Muslims who are open to hear it and even ask to hear about Jesus!”
This doesn’t sound like someone in fear to me! W. goes on to share:
“Since our last newsletter refugees flooded into Europe. I was down in South Africa when this all started to happen and suddenly [my wife] was in the midst of them organizing for families to find a bed to sleep in, in the homes of Christians. She was even interviewed for 10 minutes on one of the most popular radio talk shows and was able to share that our motivation to show mercy is because of the love of God in our hearts.
We also opened our home for some of the refugees; one man we had with his wife is the son of a retired Iraqi general.
Then we had a lady and her daughter from Kosovo who are Muslim. Marina speaks their language and found out that she is from a village where she knew one of the few believers of Kosovo. Marina phoned this lady and had her talk to this lady in our home. One hour later she had given her life to Jesus. Marina had a Bible in her language in our home and gave it to her. For the rest of the evening the lady was seen sitting reading God’s Word.
After that we got a phone call about two Iranian young men needing a place to sleep for one night. For 4 months they were living in the woods. When making beds for them I put for each one of them a New Testament in their language on their beds. When they came they had a warm shower for the first time in four months.
When they came into their room and saw the New Testaments they asked if it is for them. The one said that he had been looking for months for one but could not find one. Tears filled his eyes. They stayed for one night but 3 weeks later, Wahid (who had tears in his eyes) was back at our door. A few days later he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He is still staying with us and growing tremendously in his faith and being set free from many addictions he had!”
My friend, W., is reaping a harvest of souls in perilous times. What love! What courage! He is not alone. Many followers of Christ are seizing the opportunity of this Kairos moment to reach Muslims with the love of Jesus. They understand what the Gospel is all about and are being moved with compassion, not fear.
I encourage you to process the current events through the eyes and heart of Jesus Christ Who wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. What do we do with Muslims? We reach them with the love and power; the kindness and goodness of Jesus Christ wherever we can find them. There are so many more words I would like to share concerning this subject – my heart is full – but time does not permit me. I will leave you with this passage:
“For a wide open door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:9