Fouad Marsi and Greg Yoder at Urbana 09.
USA (MNN) ― Air security has tightened dramatically around the world in the wake of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. While this is just another in a growing list of Jihad attacks on the West, one ministry leader says this is good news for ministry to Muslims.
President of Crescent Project Fouad Masri says there's uncertainty in Islam. He says, "At the end of your life [in Islam], if your good outweighs the bad, you get to heaven." However, there is uncertainty about where the line is drawn, and Allah can change his mind.
Masri says there's only one way to escape that. "The only way to escape the system is to die in Jihad -- in a war -- trying to establish the rule of Islam. So the sign that more and more people want to join Jihad is a sign that people are thirsty for salvation, or thirsty for assurance."
Muslims are what Jesus describes as "sheep without a shepherd," Masri says. "What you're seeing is people who spiritually are like sheep. And, spiritually, they have no shepherd telling them, 'Yes, they can have assurance; yes, they can have forgiveness; yes, they don't need to kill themselves and kill others.'"
However, Masri says Christians in the West simply avoid Muslims altogether. They try to argue with them about their faith. Some simply call them enemies and ignore them.
In his session at Urbana 09 with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Masri says there are three things Christians can do to win Muslims to Christ: 1-Love them. 2-Develop friendships with them. That will allow you to 3-Bridge the divide allowing you to share your faith.
Hundreds of students participated in Masri's sessions this week. He says because many Christians are unaware of the issues facing Muslims around the world, nothing happens. "As they get exposed to the spiritual, social and injustices of Muslim women [or instance], now they're saying, ‘Let's do something.'"
Yale is a student from Chicago. He says God has convicted him that he needs to be more loving in Muslim outreach. "They're people like you and me -- people who want to be loved."
Aaron is a Cornerstone University Student and says, "Over the last three years, God's really put it on my heart to work with Muslim people. So, that's why I've come. I don't have much experience with them personally, but I came to find out more. I will be graduating soon, and I'm planning to do my student teaching in Turkey."
Masri says, "In our three sessions, we had about 900+ people. And, around 650 of those men and women are interested in building bridges with Muslims, sharing the hope of Christ with them on college campuses and in their neighborhoods."
Crescent Project will follow up by encouraging these young people to start a Bridges small group study. The names of the 650 will be entered to win Crescent Project's Sahara Challenge program in June.
Masri says that's a 7-day program in Atlanta, GA. "We cover Islam as a religion, ministry skills, cultural skills and then church planting."
More information about the Bridges Program and the Sahara Challenge are available to CrescentProject.org.