Tag Archives: Muslims

COINCIDENCE OR “GOD”INCIDENCE

COINCIDENCE OR “GOD”INCIDENCE


It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Our family was all dressed and ready for church. We got in our car, ready to drive to our morning place of worship, when behold, our car wouldn’t start. At the very same time that my husband was trying to figure out why our car wouldn’t start, I was receiving a WhatsApp message from my Muslim friend, Sarah*, asking how I was doing. This friend of mine lives in a different country than I, but we used to live in the same location. I RARELY receive messages from her unless I have initiated first. This is particular morning I find this unusual. It’s also unusual that our brand-new Toyota Fortuner car is not starting.

We have learned to see God is all of our circumstances. “All things work together for good to those who love God” says Romans 8:28. So I immediately start wondering what this means for our morning – this message from my friend, and our car not allowing us to go to church. Our university son who just happens to be with us mentions watching a sermon on TV. We turn it on and the pastor ‘just happens’ to be preaching on Mark 5 – the story of the lady who has had bleeding for 12 years, and how she reached out her hand to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe. THIS IS THE STORY I HAVE SHARED WITH SARAH ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. Sarah has had bleeding, infertility, and many miscarriages the last few years, and she longs to get pregnant. I have encouraged her to “reach out to Jesus” just as the lady in this story. I have even given her a Bible in her own language, Urdu, and she has been reading the Bible.

Is this coincidence that we are kept from church, that I have received a message from Sarah at the exact time, and that this pastor is preaching the exact story which Sarah knows well? Could it be that God is showing me right now to pray for her, to share the story to her again, and to spend my morning reaching out to her instead of going to church? I believe my purpose on this Sunday morning is doing just that: connecting with Sarah.

I then share this happening with Sarah, and I remind her of Jesus’ love for her. Will you pray for Sarah right now? She is searching for truth. Jesus is her truth. Pray that she would reach out for His hem, and receive the truth into her heart. Also pray that Jesus would do a miracle for her – and allow her to conceive a child. Jesus wants her to be His child, and He can also give her her own child. This is my prayer.

Ramadan and a Muslim lady called Sarah*

Ramadan and a Muslim lady called Sarah*


Sarah* is a 31 year old Muslim lady! She loves life, loves family, but longs to be a mother. She has tried over and over to have a child, but every time miscarries and has lost hope. An IMB missionary woman met her in 2012 and they soon became good friends. Since then many have heard about Sarah* and have prayed for her to know the true God, Jesus Christ, and for her to conceive and have a child. Sarah* has been given an Urdu Bible (Urdu is her heart language), and has begun to read it for herself.

This is the month of Ramadan and Sarah* is devoted to seeking Allah for his blessing and favor on her. Will you join others in praying that Sarah* would have an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ during this time? Many Muslims have dreams or visions during this season. Will you join in and pray for her to have a dream or encounter with the ‘Man in white’, and for her to realize that Jesus is the one true God. Pray also for the miracle of conception; that if God chooses to bless Sarah* with a child that she would then turn to Him for salvation.

We Are the Fragrance of Christ

We Are the Fragrance of Christ

You may remember my previous stories of my sweet Muslim friend “S”?  (From now on I’m going to call her Sarah*).  You may remember that I have known Sarah for almost 5 years now, and we have only grown closer and closer as friends.  Just recently I met her again for our regular coffee date.  She seems to love these appointments as it gives her some freedom from being in her house, and allows her some independent time away from her normal Muslim culture.

You see, I am her only Christian friend.  I sometimes marvel at that fact, and just wonder what it’s going to take to bring this devout Muslim lady over into the Kingdom of Christ?  Each time before I meet with her, my husband and I pray that God would work in our conversation somehow, allowing me an opportunity to share Jesus with her.  She talks openly and freely about being a Muslim, and she allows me the freedom to talk about my faith, but for the most part we mostly just talk about “life”.  We have so much in common as ladies, and both of us enjoy talking about our homes, health, husbands, travels, female issues, and really the list is endless.  She trusts me implicitly with her life stories, and it’s really amazing that she has such trust in me at all.

When I haven’t seen her in a while, due to travel or meetings, she’ll write me and say “I miss u!”.  Yes, that’s exactly how she writes it!  For some reason, and it must only be the Lord, she just loves being in my presence.

On my most recent  visit with Sarah this week she gave me a gorgeous bottle of perfume.  This is now the second time she has given me perfume as a gift!  She is extremely generous, and I feel guilty most times as I so rarely give her anything as a gift.  I’m good at baking cakes etc., so I have found that this is one way I can give her something from my heart.  But, back to the perfume.  I now have two bottles of perfume from Sarah!  Could it be that  I am “the fragrance of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15) to her?  Now each morning when I spray her beautiful scent on my body, the Lord reminds me to pray for Sarah, and for her to be drawn into His kingdom.  God’s Word is true.  I AM the fragrance of Christ to her, and God will draw her unto Himself at His perfect time.  But we must pray!

Will you join me in this prayer?  Yes…”we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16

Prayer Need for me and my sweet Muslim friend “S” (Part 3)

Prayer Need for me and my sweet Muslim friend “S” (Part 3)

This past month I was able to visit again with “S”. I wasn’t alone this time as Julie, the wife of a couple from TN who have been with us for the past 2 weeks on a “vision trip” from their church, was able to come with me to visit “S”also. This was such a special time! Julie had heard the story of “S’s” infertility, and had brought some “essential oils” from America which she wanted to give to “S”. Julie’s own daughter had been suffering with the same condition as “S” (ovarian cyst disorder), and after much prayer and the use of these specific oils, Julie’s daughter had conceived. So when I told “S” that my friend was bringing her some oils as a gift to her she was overjoyed. So yesterday we had planned to meet at our local coffee shop for our next coffee date.

 

But Satan was at work too! Why are we surprised when things begin to go wrong when we embark on Jesus’ work? Fred and I are beginning to learn, and to expect, that whenever we begin to move forward in God’s work we can expect difficulties, and Tuesday was no different. About an hour before we were due to meet “S” at the restaurant, I received a text message on my phone from her saying that her driver was not able to take her that day. She has two personal drivers, and both of them were unavailable! Of course they were!! Satan doesn’t want truth to be exposed to “S”! So Fred and I immediately prayed for wisdom on how to respond to her without shutting this door on our opportunity. After praying Fred immediately said: “Tell her we’ll come and pick her up!” I knew she lived on the opposite side of the island, and that would be WAY out of our way, but Fred was determined that we could still make this coffee date happen. So I replied to her that we’d come and pick her up and take her to our coffee place, which she immediately replied saying: “Why not just have coffee at my place instead?” This was a perfect idea, and a true miracle! Julie and I were being invited to have coffee in “S’s” house! It is extremely unusual when an American is invited to a Muslim’s home! We knew the Lord was up to something!

 

Then on the way to “S’s” house Fred noticed that our vehicle was overheating. Of course it was!!! Again…Satan was trying to stop our plans from happening!!! Fred noticed that the thermostat reading on the dash board was signaling that we were severely overheating! Fred pulled off the road and opened the front hood. There was no water at all in the engine! David, Julie’s husband, was carrying a backpack, and had learned since arriving to our island to carry his own water around with him, so he “just happened” to have a 2 liter bottle of water handy! Fred and David put in all the water that they had, while Julie and I sat in the car praying that the Lord would allow us to get to “S’s” house without further trouble. The Lord answered our prayer and Fred started the car up again, and the thermostat began to normalize. We crept on and eventually made it to “S’s” house. God says in 2 Corinthians that “He always leads us in victory” and “no weapon formed against you will prosper”, and we went on our way rejoicing that Satan was defeated, and that the Lord was going before us.

 

While there at “S’s” house Julie shared her “testimony” of how her daughter had conceived after much prayer, and then showed her the essential oils that she had brought for her to have. I also shared again how Jesus had also helped me at a time in my life that I was very sick! I reminded her again that Jesus could do a miracle for her also.   She just listened and then admitted that it would be a miracle for her to conceive and have a baby. At the end of our time I without asking just prayed out loud for her. I think this caught her by surprise, but I did it anyway. She was very uncomfortable with my prayer to Jesus for her, and even tried to interrupt me, but I finished praying for her in Jesus’ name! Her husband was coming home for lunch, so we quickly left her home after my prayer, and promised her that we’d be keeping her in our prayers!

 

Thank you for continuing to pray for “S”.  She has just completed her month of Ramadan fasting, and during that time I have prayed that Jesus would reveal Himself to her, and also do a miracle by allowing her to have a child.  I will meet again with her soon!  Let’s be expectant to see what God will do next!

 

 

She’s already written me an email saying how much show loved our visit, and that she can’t wait to visit with me again soon! So even though she was shocked by our open prayers for her, she was also touched by our love and kindness!

Before my visit to her home I was praying and reading my Bible, and the Lord took me to Psalm 89:19-20: “Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one…with My holy oil I have anointed him” and I knew that this was how the Lord wanted me to pray. Will you join me in praying for a vision of Jesus to be given to Sanober, and that the oil of the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon her? I am praying that the Lord would also use the special oils that Julie gave her to be an instrument of healing to her body!

Prayer Need for me and my sweet Muslim friend “S” (Part 2)

Prayer Need for me and my sweet Muslim friend “S” (Part 2)

(THIS IS CONTINUED FROM THE POST DATED JUNE 8, 2015)

 

Thanks so much for your prayers concerning S!  I have just returned home from a coffee date with S. We sat for two hours reconnecting as friends, and she truly seemed overjoyed to be with me again as it had been so long. I had prayed for the Lord to speak through me and to give me opportunities to share Jesus with her. She knows I’m a Christian, and she also is devoutly Muslim. Throughout out time together she would share how she knows that God (Allah) was helping her in her life. She seems to radiate joy, and even kept saying that her life is “so good”. She still longs for a baby but says that even without a child her life is a good one. She also talked of hopefully adopting a child, but said her husband is not at all open about adoption. They desperately want their own child, and they believe Allah will do this if it is right.

 

It’s a funny situation to me, and one that is unique to many of my other friendships as she seems so happy. She says she doesn’t feel oppressed but has a wonderful life. The two of us talked about our husbands, our families, our health, cooking, daily schedules etc., with each of us sharing how God was totally in control of our lives. I would share how I would pray to Jesus, and she would share how she is praying to ‘god’. The two of us felt totally at ease with each other, and I came away wondering how I’m going to reach S for Jesus. Then as I was leaving her the lyrics of a song came to mind: “They will know we are Christians by our love”, and I was reminded that showing S love is the first foundation in building a solid foundation for her to want to hear more about Jesus. She shared how I’m one of the only ladies she feels comfortable sharing her personal life-issues with. She also commented that even though I’m old enough to be her mother, (I’m 50 and she’s 29), she feels there’s no age difference when we’re together.

 

I left in awe of what God has done in knitting our hearts together. Only the Lord can save S and Z, so please continue to pray. We both agreed that we’d like to meet regularly, so now we’re planning to do it again. Her constant prayer is for a child, and now for one adopted one too. She kept saying she wants both. So I reminded her that I would pray to Jesus for these requests, and she immediately said that she too would pray. I know Jesus can reveal Himself to her in a dream, or in some other way, so I’m also praying for a “Jesus encounter” for her.

Thanks so much for your prayers for S and Z. It is only the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin, and righteousness, and judgement, (John 16:8), so I am praying that the Lord would prepare, and open S’s heart unto Himself.

 

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Prayer Need for me and my sweet Muslim friend “S” (Part 1)

Prayer Need for me and my sweet Muslim friend “S” (Part 1)

I desperately need your prayers for my sweet Muslim friend S.  I wrote a prayer to my US prayer partners back in 2013, and this is what I wrote back then:

“We first met S in our French Language class. We pretty much knew she was Muslim by the way she was dressed. Her head was covered with the traditional head scarf, and her outfit was long and flowing from head to toe. She was very quiet and withdrawn. Because there were only 3 of us in the class, it didn’t take long ‘til we got to know each other. Most Muslim women do not talk with other men, but direct their conversations to other women. So whenever S would talk with my husband and me, she would direct her attention to me.

 Over the first couple of weeks of our class, we got to know more about S.  My husband and I would naturally greet her at the beginning of the class and talk with her until the teacher came in. At the end of the class we would walk out with her, and she would immediately be picked up by her taxi driver.

 Her husband, Z,  was very protective of her being out amongst strangers. In fact, this was the first time she had gone out on her own. She usually would stay in their big house and not be allowed to go out and shop, or socialize without him. Muslims guard their religion and family structure at all cost. So the fact that S was out on her own, taking a French class, was very unusual.

S seemed to enjoy getting out for a change, and we found she opened up quite naturally when we would talk with her. We soon got to know more about her. She had come from Pakistan when she was just 18. Her husband had come from Mauritius to Pakistan to find himself a good Muslim wife. He had chosen S, and they had become married when she was just 19. She was now 27 and had been living on the island with him since they married.

When we asked if she had children, her head hung low and she explained that that was their desire but as of yet they had none. We asked her more about their not having children, and she then explained that they had had several miscarriages, and that up until now they’d not been able to have children.

Each time my husband and I would go to class, we would take every opportunity to talk with S, and build a relationship with her. She seemed to enjoy talking with us and seemed to look forward to coming to our French class especially to socialize with us and the teacher. I would walk out with S to her waiting car, and would tell her that I was praying for her to have a baby. She would always thank me for my prayers, and would receive me warmly when I talked with her.

One day we noticed S come into class with a downcast look on her face. When we tried to greet her she seemed very sad and withdrawn. Our class was yet to start, so I asked her what was bothering her. She then shared that she had had a rough week. She had seen the specialist about her not being able to conceive/carry a baby, and she shared that she was having a lot of bleeding.

My husband and I had been praying for her since our class had begun, and we had prayed that the Lord would give us an opportunity to share more with her about the Lord Jesus Christ. When she shared about her constant bleeding, immediately the Bible story came to mind of the lady who had bleeding for 12 years. So I then asked S if she had ever heard the story of the lady who was healed by Jesus. Of course she said no. So I then went on to tell her the story from Matthew 9, how the lady had said if I can just touch the hem of Jesus’ robe then I can be healed, and she was healed from that very moment. I told S that only Jesus could heal her, and that we would pray for her in Jesus name. Many times after this day, we would remind her that we were praying for her to be healed and to become pregnant.

There were other times in our class that we would “get” to share about our own family situations, and how the Lord was always helping us with the things we were dealing with. Our Mauritian teacher and S would listen intently, and many times we shared what the Lord was doing in our lives.

 Our French class soon came to an end. We had tried to get together with S outside of our class, but she was never able to work it out with us. Her driver would bring her directly to class then return her directly to their house after class.   I haven’t seen her since our class ended in Feb of this year. I have emailed her a few times, and I have recently told her that I am returning to the island in January and would love to reconnect with her somehow. She thanked me for my prayers for her, and said she would enjoy seeing us again if we could work it out.

Would you join me in praying for S? My prayer is for the Lord to heal her infertility and give her a child, and that through that miracle she would come to accept Jesus as her Savior. It will take a miracle for her to see that Allah is not the true God, but that Jesus is the only way.”

 So there’s the background on S. Over the past two years I have written her trying to see how we could meet for coffee so we could reconnect, but her husband keeps a close eye on her, and doesn’t allow her out much.

But the good news is that she has now agreed to meet me for coffee. This is huge and an answer to much prayer as I have daily prayed for her. I beg you to pray for her and for me as I’m a little nervous. I am praying and believing two verses, and would ask that you pray these for me:

The first is a promise to me from Hebrews 13:19-20 “Now may the God of PEACE…make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen”

The second verse from Isaiah 50:4 encourages me when I wonder what I will say “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary”

I am excited and expectant to see how the Lord is going to answer our prayers for S (and her husband Z) in giving her a child and making her His child.

(THIS IS TO BE CONTINUED IN A LATER POST)

5 steps forward, 1 step back

5 steps forward, 1 step back

‘Joe’ preached an evangelistic sermon at a church in our area.  Rejoice with us over theBlkScrfLdy1 five people who were saved that morning!  Please pray for these five as they begin their walk with the Lord.

 

I met a woman while I was out one day. She was thrilled that we lived here and even thanked me for coming to Africa to minister to people…giving me a big hug.  I asked her if she walked the Jesus Road…and was surprised when she told me that she was a Muslim.  She told me that if she had been born a Christian, she would have been a very good one.  We had a great conversation about faith and I hope to meet up with her again.  She seems very open to spiritual things. Please pray for ‘Lois’.

*Joe and I have found other Great Commission Bel*evers who are wanting to reach out to Muslims in our town.  What a huge praise to our Father!  We look forward to partnering with these kind of folks this year.

Date seeds, Allah & the Prince of Peace

Date seeds, Allah & the Prince of Peace

“As I entered the solemn room, all I could hear was the steady plop, plop of date seeds being dropped meticulously into small bowls.  Over each seed, lips moved in synch, praying the same words over and over again, beseeching the merciful Allah to allow the recently deceased family member entrance into heaven.  Each line of the request was breathed repetitively, the seeds keeping count toward the magical number that would guarantee a future reward for the requester.  These diligently praying Muslim women lined the walls of the room, sitting uncomfortably on the floor while draped in black from head to toe.  The sudden presence of a blonde head could scarcely go unnoticed.

Just a few hours earlier, I was jostled out of church by unrelated and unforeseen circumstances to discover a waiting message on my silenced phone.  The dear brother of my friend, “Q”, had passed away unexpectedly.  “Q”s Muslim coworkers were seeking my presence to join them in a visit to the grieving family.  I arrived just in time to join the caravan to the family home.

“Q” met us all with tears in her eyes and escorted us to a separate room where we could talk.  As she shared the events surrounding her brother’s death, her coworkers and I cried with her.  When our time together came to a close, God wonderfully allowed me to pray words of comfort over “Q”.  With her coworkers listening, I prayed that the Prince of Peace would reign in her life; that she would know the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and that the One who is the Resurrection and the Life would become her great joy even in the midst of her sorrow.”

All because I listened to God’s call

All because I listened to God’s call

sunset_boats All because I listened to God’s call to go, take a look at what God did…..

*Traveled to 4 Countries
*Had over 2,000 Kisses (What can I say, we love to kiss here….)

*Got over 3,000 Hugs, most of those are from my knee hugger class

*Countless Number of Proposals/Claims that I’m their wife….

*2 Indian & 1 Chinese Wedding

*Almost wrecked 1,000 times…You smile b/c you think I’m joking I laugh b/c I’m not Love driving on the opp. Side of the road and car while dodging everything

*Got peed on by a baby…. What can I say this is Africa….

*Learned to eat with your right hand and wipe with your left…. Just kidding, I use toilet paper but not everyone does

*B/c not everyone uses toilet paper…I got Petee…yep I got a parasite I carried for 10 months and named it Petee

*I can use a squatty potty with perfection

*Walked with Lions

*Can kill bugs, spiders and things I have no clue what they are

*Clothing is optional in Africa and no-one is freaked out but you, when they decide to not wear it

*Seeing kids barely clothed, starving, drinking dirty water, among drunks who rape and kidnap them. Knowing that many of those kids will die of HIV, Malaria or something as simple as a cough, will always breaks your heart, but knowing God is in control starts to put your broken heart back together

*A beautiful shower under the stars equals 72 pumps of water, caring that water in a bucket on your head to the fire, 10 minutes to warm it

*De-worming is just a part of life

*Getting interrogated by the Country you’re supposed to live in the next year and ½ makes you want to go home

*Missing your brother’s Wedding, surgeries in your family, a brother’s engagement and not being there for your sister when she needs you the most is the hardest thing you will ever do, but the gift of “trust” that God gave me through this is beyond words

*Living in a country you don’t know for 3 months on your own after a mass 2 weeks training is something I would never take back. I have never felt more loved by the people.

*God giving me a beautiful local family who lives out the Gospel, is a blessing/gift from only Him

*Getting to live with two crazy girls who I love dearly is priceless…getting to scare them is just fun

*Loving on 122 students and their families, from 18 different countries and religions is another gift from God

*20 of those students are now following Jesus and all I can say is “Glory be to God!”

Changes of Heart – testimony of a Christ follower (Part 4)

Changes of Heart – testimony of a Christ follower (Part 4)

(conclusion from 10 Feb …) 

I’m choosing to say “No” to Cultural Christianity, Clichéd Christianity & Cross-less Christianity.

So, what am I saying “Yes” to?

“Christlike” Christianity This is our aim and our goal!  Unless our goal in our faith is to reflect Jesus so purely that the world sees Him clearly in us, then we should not call ourselves Christians.  We must be in this world as He was:

Humbly Obedient:  “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Jesus Christ, who, although He existed in the form of G0d, did not regard equality with G0d a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ”  (Philippians 2:3-8)

Incarnationally Minded:  “Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, He also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death– the Devil– and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it is clear that He does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring. Therefore He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to G0d, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested. ”  (Heb 2:14-18)  – He entered our world and became like us (except He did not sin) so that He could sympathize with us and help us.

Today, would you join me in putting on true Christianity by humbling ourselves and embodying the incarnational mindset of Jesus in order to reach beyond our culture, clichés, and crosses to win a lost world to our sweet Savior.  Let us all be about the business of seeing the worship of the One True G0d spread to every tribe, tongue, and nation!