When June heard the gospel and believed last year, she knew it might mean facing conflict with her Muslim family members. June lives in Southeast Asia and her country has the largest Muslim population in the world.
While many of her family members did reject June due to her faith in Christ, her mom didn’t. This year, she began asking questions about the gospel. When June told her Christians believe you can simply talk to God in prayer, she was amazed. She shoved the white prayer clothes Muslim women wear in a drawer.
“I don’t need them anymore!” she told her daughter.
IMB worker Jacob Hicks said June’s testimony is just one example of God at work in Southeast Asia this year.
“God has been doing some amazing things,” he said. “I attribute all these things to prayer and God at work in people’s lives.”
While he rejoices, his prayer is for many more opportunities to share the gospel that result in many more changed lives, especially during Ramadan this month.
“We pray, we want, we desire, we long for hordes of people to believe,” he said.
This month, millions of Muslims around the world have been observing the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan. The annual observance consists of fasting, prayer and family gatherings.
In places like June’s country, the entire dynamic changes for Ramadan. Many people don’t eat or drink from sunrise to sunset, so they get up in the middle of the night to make food and pray. After work, they head to a mosque for prayers. At the end of the day, families gather for a meal after the sun sets.
Hicks says that gospel opportunities abound during Ramadan because people are more focused on spiritual ideas and open to conversation. Sometimes it can be challenging for believers to share their faith boldly because many face persecution by the government, friends and even family.
Hicks has worked closely with local churches to create ministry opportunities for believers. He planned an Easter drama that was performed live in the parking lot of one of the biggest churches in his city. Since Easter was during Ramadan this year, it created a unique ministry opportunity.
Often people do not feel comfortable going inside a church building, so the parking lot allowed for more to hear the gospel. The drama was performed twice a day on Good Friday and the Saturday before Easter. It was also recorded, so that it could be sent out and reach even more people.
Additionally, some IMB workers who serve deaf people came to Hicks’s city for the drama. They invited the deaf population to attend and translated during each drama. Their translation was also included in the recording.
Hicks hoped the drama not only shared the gospel with many who had never heard, but also encouraged local believers to be more confident sharing their faith with their friends, family and community.
“A lot of times, when we pray for the Lord to send more workers into the harvest, those workers come from the harvest,” Hicks said.
As Ramadan concludes, please pray for the believers in Southeast Asia to boldly proclaim the gospel with the lost in their communities. Pray for June’s faith to grow, and for her mother and the rest of her family to trust and believe in Jesus.
Some names may have been changed for security reasons.