Befriending Muslims is the best form of outreach
Jack fled. A brother had informed him that he would be poisoned. Jack’s father — a Muslim cleric — had discovered that his 17-year-old son had become a follower of Jesus. A few years later Jack arrived in Canada to pursue theological studies. Extreme loneliness and the pain of being a newcomer without family in a strange land haunted him.
War, ethnic conflict, religious persecution, natural disasters and the longing for freedom and opportunity are just some of the reasons why people uproot and come to North America. How do these unprepared newcomers fare in a foreign land, where often they are not really welcome?
In 2008 a newcomer centre (which Jack helps at) was opened in Canada. The idea was simply to welcome Muslims and give them practical assistance in their new country. Friendships were forged as the newcomers got help with home-building, child-care, tutoring, homework or to learn English. Today, baby showers for new mothers, football camps for boys and girls, and community festivals for the whole family are but a few more things the centre does to welcome newcomers.
Heart-to-heart connections are made as Muslims begin bonding with their new Christian friends. Some have already become followers of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah). Others are on the pathway to the Prince of Peace. The seed of the gospel is being planted as the international team ministers to them.
San was in training to become a Muslim cleric. At the age of 22 he became a follower of Jesus. His mother considered him dead. She buried him. Today, San is a member of the international team that is working with newcomers. Many of the people that San meets at the centre come from his home country. His mother, still living back in Africa, is now proud that her son is helping his people survive in a foreign and strange land.
* Muslims who have been uprooted generally come ill-prepared to cope with new people, culture and language. Pray that mature Christians come
alongside them to be their friends and new family.
* Pray that God would direct believers to meet people of peace (Luke 10), and in turn be the instrument to introduce Muslims to the Prince of Peace.
* Many Muslims in North America are shocked when a Westerner greets them with a “Hi.” Yet often it only takes a “Hi” to establish a life-long friendship. Give it a try!
Posted on Tue, July 30, 2013
by Donna Shiflett