South Asia (MNN) — Over half of the world’s Muslim population lives in the Asia-Pacific region — about 62 percent. This translates to over one billion Muslim people from Turkey to Indonesia. Between Islam and Hinduism, Christians are often in the minority.
However, Perry LaHaie with Frontiers USA says they are seeing believers build relationships with Muslims in South Asia and the Holy Spirit is moving. For example, he shares the story of Nicole and Hassan:
“One of our Frontiers workers is Nicole and she teaches English in the Muslim world. And Hassan was in Nicole’s first English teaching class when she moved to Southeast Asia to teach at a Muslim university. She had moved…to not only teach English but to obviously to share the Good News of Jesus.”
Nicole kept in touch with Hassan and when Hassan’s mother died of cancer, he even called Nicole his ‘second mom’.
“Seeing the love of Jesus in Nicole deeply moved Hassan. All he saw in Islam where he lives was fighting. So he prayed, ‘God, show me the pure and true way,’ and for eight days he prayed this…and each night he had a dream of Jesus.”
As these dreams persisted, Hassan decided to call Nicole and ask her how to become a Christian.
“The very next day, Nicole and Hassan got together, they read God’s Word together, [and] Hassan put his faith in Jesus. This was just recently! Hassan is growing in Jesus and he’s sharing his faith with his Muslim family and friends. He’s facing persecution from his family, but he’s sharing his faith and he is a key to reaching his Muslim people.”
When it comes to Christians reaching out to their Muslim neighbors in South Asia, some are unsure of how to introduce their faith in Jesus. Frontiers offers training to equip these believers with tools and resources for evangelism. So if their friendships with Muslims do open conversational doors to the Gospel, they will know how to respond.
LaHaie says, “Recently in South Asia, two South Asian pastors invited our Frontiers team to equip their church to reach Muslims and to give them tools to reach out to their Muslim neighbors. In a lot of cases, nearby Christian believers are not reaching out to Muslims.
“For six months, we offered training in four cities and dozens of South Asian believers in each city attended the training. Over 80 people completed the course. Now at first, many of these believers thought reaching out to Muslims was impossible. They were really scared about reaching out to Muslims. But after they completed the training course, their fear had been changed to courage.”
They’re now sharing Jesus with their Muslim neighbors and discipling the new believers in Scripture.
One of the tools Frontiers provided in the training is called the discovery Bible study method. LaHaie explains, “It involves reading a Bible passage and asking questions to help Muslims discover God’s truth for themselves. So it’s not just feeding them what they should believe. It’s saying, ‘Hey, open the Word, read it for yourself, ask questions, discover Jesus in the Word.’”
Some of these South Asian believers are using the discovery Bible study method to hold Bible studies with Muslims.
“Imagine a group of Muslims together in a room, probably family members and friends, and they’re reading the story of the Prodigal Son and they’re asking questions about what God is like and they’re learning the story and repeating it back to each other. And then they’re saying, ‘How can I obey this? How can I share this with others?’ And because Muslims are so connected by family and friendship networks, that obedience part and ‘who can I share this with?’ is so important, because they do share it with their family and friends and other discovery Bible study method groups are formed!” LaHaie shares.
“These Discovery Bible Studies are leading to movements of Muslims coming to Jesus in the hundreds, in the thousands, and in the tens of thousands.”
So what about you? Do you know a Muslim family in your neighborhood? Have you been praying for an opportunity to share your faith with a Muslim friend or relative?
It’s easier than it seems to open that conversational door. “You don’t need to be a scholar regarding Islam and you don’t need to be a Bible scholar. Muslims are very relationship-oriented and I think they’re very hospitality-oriented. So I would just say engage the Muslims who may be around you in conversation. Reach out to them, say hello, be the one to initiate a friendship, and ask them about their family, ask them about their faith. In the process, learn about Islam.”
LaHaie also adds the Bridges DVD Series from the Crescent Project is a great resource if you would like to learn more about the Islamic faith and how to reach your Muslim neighbors with the Gospel message. Click here to check it out!
Also, he says to commit to praying for them, and even with them. “I think just in a conversation with Muslims, they’re very open about talking about their faith, so just saying something like, ‘Hey, is there anything that I can pray with you about?’ And often, they’ll say yes.”
But really, to sum it all up, LaHaie humorously adds, “It’s not rocket science. It’s just building friendships!”
Please pray for Muslims in South Asia to see the truth of God’s Word. Pray for the opportunity to build genuine friendships with Muslims in your community — friendships that could even lead to faith conversations.
If you’d like to keep up on what God is doing in the Muslim world, click here to go to Frontiers USA’s website and sign up for their weekly e-newsletter.