Grandmother spends retirement sharing the Gospel with Muslims8/22/2012
By Karis Baldwin and Torie Speicher
SOUTH ASIA — At the beginning of her marriage, Moriah Peters* and her husband were alcoholics. After the birth of their three girls, the couple found Christ and her husband later became a pastor. Years after losing her husband, Peters, a 50-year-old widow without a college degree, knew God had called her to missions.
Now, in her mid-60’s and grandmother of six, Peters rides the back of a motorcycle in South Asia, sharing the Good News with Muslim men and women.
Peters started serving in South Asia after spending eight years in the drastically different climate of various Russian countries. While on her first overseas trip to the Ukraine, Peters shared the Gospel with an alcoholic man and it changed her life.
“I hesitated to come on the trip because of the alcoholism in my past,” Peters said. “But, when he was saved, I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.”
At the age of 50, Peters moved to Russia and began working with alcoholics, often visiting the alleyways and streets where these men and women gathered. She would also visit the kiosks where Muslim men worked and share the love of Christ with them.
After eight years in Russian countries and becoming fluent in Russian, Peters was more passionate than ever about sharing her faith and discipling others, but her body was telling her the cold was just too much. Peter’s doctors told her she would be healthier in a warmer, drier climate.
South Asia was not her first choice. She thought it would be too hot and the food would be too spicy, but when she found out about an opportunity to share the Good News with Muslims, she was sold.
Once Peters arrived in South Asia, God led her to a group of Muslim men and women living in a rough community. Through the help of a Christian man named Sanjeet* from a Hindu background, Peters started offering English lessons. She began by having them read Bible stories, one sentence at a time.
After two years of teaching English through telling stories from God’s Word, tensions in the Muslim community began to rise. Sanjeet was chased by a group of Muslims and beaten with metal rods and pipes. After Sanjeet recovered, Peters knew in her heart that she had to return but found it necessary to change her approach.
Using English rap songs from artists like Kirk Franklin, Isaac Houghton, and Deitrick Haddon who talk about Jesus in their songs, Peters began teaching the lyrics for English class, explaining the meaning of the song and having fun with her students in the name of Christ.
Peters didn’t let her age, family or lack of college education hold her back from doing what God called her to do.
“When I meet people, I tell them I have a ‘BA degree’ (even though I didn’t go to college). It’s a ‘Born Again’ degree,” Peters said. “People here don’t really care about your college credentials. They want to know why you’re here and why you stay.”
Peters knows that one day she will have to look Jesus face-to-face and answer to Him. That’s why she rides on the back of a motorcycle with Sanjeet practicing rap songs to share with Muslims.
* Names have been changed.
Karis Baldwin is an intern with Hands On, serving among South Asian peoples.
- For more information on Hands On, go to http://www.thetask.org/.
Torie Speicher is a writer serving among South Asian peoples.