God is at Work in the Hardest of Hearts.
Pastor Murat lives in a Muslim-dominated area in one of the most dangerous parts of Central Asia. Many of Pastor Murat’s neighbours aren’t merely Muslims, they’re extremists.
“An unofficial report states that more than 400 people from my area have joined the Islamic State,” he said. “But many other extremists who aren’t part of the Islamic State also live in my area.”
Pastor Murat must be very careful to conceal his faith. “If my faith is discovered, I will be killed,” he shared. “So I take precautions. I pray five times a day like Muslims do. I know a lot about the Muslim faith so I don’t stand out.”
But even with all his precautions, there have been times when Pastor Murat’s faith was discovered.
“An angry man came to my door and told me he was going to behead me,” he shared. “I was so worried. I didn’t know what to do.”
Pastor Murat was reminded of God’s promise from Luke 21:18, “In that moment, God gave me just the words to say,” he said. “I told the man, ‘Only if God wills it shall you kill me. Not a hair on my head shall be touched unless it is His will.’ The man was in shock because God’s will is important to Muslims. God used a verse in the Bible to reach him. So I asked if I could pray with him and he said yes.”
And now this man is a fellow believer!
“The Saul to Paul conversion is an amazing example of what we see today,” says Pastor Murat. “Often the people who were the most dedicated extremists are now the most dedicated evangelists!”
Across Central Asian and the Middle East, there are many similar stories being told of Muslim extremists coming to Christ. However, many of these new believers are in need of Bibles to grow, and the Church in these areas are also in need for Bibles and resources for equipping and training believers to continue to share the Gospel in some of the darkest places of the world, and to some of the hardest hearts.
- Give thanks for the testimonies and faith of believers such as Pastor Murat as they see God working through them to reach the most extreme Muslims in Central Asia and the Middle East.
- Give thanks for their courage in sharing their faith and for their light which shines in the darkest of places.
- Pray for these believers, for protection and continued perseverance in their faith, for opportunities to share the Gospel with the people around them, and for open hearts to the Good News of Jesus amongst their Muslim neighbours.
- Pray for the provision of Bibles for new believers in Central Asia, and for access to good training and discipleship material for the Churches in this region.
- Pray for a continued move of the Holy Spirit, for many Muslims, including ISIL members, to hear the Gospel and come to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and God over all.
Romans 1 vs 16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”