United States (MNN) — The United States is awash in discord currently. In the wake of the election, stories of hate crimes are exploding on the internet. Pictures of graffiti expressing racist sentiments have made their way not only to social media, but the news as well. And if that wasn’t enough, the verbal fighting on these platforms has continued with name calling, meme-slinging, and so on.
Even in all the uproar and confusion, truth and deception, one thing is clear. There is a great sense of hate in the United States, and it is frightening.
One common theme is the fear of what will happen to certain minority groups. Muslims, for example, are a group in focus. The Huffington Post last week called for readers to reach out and support their Muslim and Sikh neighbors. But what does that look like for a Christian for whom the best and only hope is Jesus Christ?
We spoke with Bob Blincoe of Frontiers USA. This ministry focuses on Gospel outreach and care to Muslim peoples.
Blincoe says, “Election or not, what we have is a movement of the Lord in our time to bring near to Christians the peoples who have never been Christian — and who will become Christian by the witness of their Christian neighbors.”
Many times, what holds Christians back from reaching out to Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and peers is fear. Blincoe says we can fight that fear by remembering God’s sovereign plan presented in Scripture. In addition, we can ask God for compassionate hearts because of the grace He has shown us. These things can be cultivated within the Christian community, by reading the Bible, and by trusting the Holy Spirit.
“Nothing is more important than that we take the initiative now to share the Good News of Christ, yes, in such a time as this, with our Muslim neighbors and the people we’re meeting.”
Taking the first step
Blincoe says right now there are three major groups of Muslims coming to the United States: students, refugees, and business people. He gives us practical ways to begin establishing relationships and meeting needs.
Students who have come from closed countries will be going back to their countries once their education is over. In the meantime, there is an amazing and unique opportunity to share the hope of the Gospel with them. If you’re connected with a college campus community, there may be opportunities to open up your home and invite students to Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. It’s a simple way to show you care.
Groups of refugees are coming to our country with nothing. They have fled deadly situations and painful memories along with their homes. Blincoe says a simple search online will help you find a local ministry settling refugees.
And for those who are working alongside us in the business world, intentional relationship is key.
If you’re wondering how to begin a conversation with somebody who is new to the country, Blincoe suggests this method: Ask them how to say “thank you” in their language and memorize it. It’s intimidating to come to a new country with a new language and new customs. This is a simple way to put yourself in their shoes and be the one learning from them.
You can also use this Christmas as an opportunity to give them the Bible or The JESUS Film in their language as a gift.
Blincoe suggests the Crescent Project movie series called Bridges as an additional resource to learn how to reach out with compassion and care. You can find that here.
To get involved with what Frontiers is doing worldwide, click here.
“We have to see these great movements of people as God’s providence for us to stand up, not be afraid, and do our part. And some future day, they’ll look back to this generation of American Christians who overcame our fears and say we were the initiators of a great movement to Christ of Muslim peoples who have come here.”