Missionary kid wonders if he should fast during Ramadan7/29/2013
By John M.
During my eighth grade year I was living in a Muslim country, attending a school with a number of Muslim classmates. My parents encouraged me to join them in a fast. The goal was to know God better through denying ourselves of something as basic as food for a short time.
During Ramadan Muslims are expected to take part in a daily fast. For a Muslim, the fast provides merit for working one’s way into heaven. I had never fasted before so I was curious. I also thought this would be a great opportunity to open doors with my Muslim classmates.
When I made the decision to fast I had no idea the opportunity that God would provide.
At my school, students who fast are allowed to remain in the classroom, avoiding the cafeteria where other students are eating. During lunch hour I stayed behind with those who were fasting.
“Why on earth are you fasting? It’s not mandatory for you!” a couple of my classmates said.
It blew their minds that someone would voluntarily take part in a fast. Most of them were miserable about not being able to eat all day. The only reason they were fasting was because they had to. As I engaged them in conversation, I was able to share my Christian beliefs. This was the first time my Muslim friends had heard directly from a Christian about what we believe.
When I returned home from school I was excited to tell my parents what had happened. Fasting became a cool opportunity to share my faith with friends, who otherwise would never have heard. It was my first time to be able to sit down and clearly explain my beliefs to someone who was not a Christian.
The chance to explain the Gospel to these two friends not only gave them a view into Christianity, but it also helped me in my walk with God. My faith was strengthened as I acted on my own faith and my own convictions rather than those of my parents.
In the end, the little rumbling in my stomach was nothing compared to the awesomeness of getting to share my faith with some of my Muslim classmates.
To learn more about Ramadan, click here to view an infographic.