Overtures to hope are made in Arab world

By January 27, 2009

International (MNN) — U.S.
President Barack Obama seeks to find "a new way forward" with the Muslim world. Even as he is trying to calm inflamed
tensions in Arab countries, there are others who are well on their way toward
paving that path for a people who are losing hope. 

Salah Abbasi (SAY-lah uh-BAH-see), Arabic Editor with 
World Bible Translation Center, says, "We are now planning to finish the Old
Testament, probably this month or maybe by February. We'll compile everything into one Bible, and
it will be printed very soon, I hope." 

The potential to reach people
with the hope of Christ is staggering. Over 280 Million people use some form of
Arabic as their first language.

However, a younger generation
populates most of the Arabic-speaking regions. Disillusioned with their parents' faith and the instability they find
themselves in, they're seeking truth in greater numbers than ever before. 

Abbasi says, "We think that the only hope for the Arab
world and these multiple crises is to have the Word of God available. We need
courage as distributors, and we're to pray against the fear that occupies the
Muslim minds." 

Unfortunately, evangelism
in the Muslim communities is often limited to the written word or other
media in an easy-to-understand form.

Yet, people are finding the Easy-to-Read Arabic Scriptures
throughout the Middle East in book shops, inside correctional facilities, in
orphanages, and throughout the network of underground churches.

As for how people are responding,
one team leader reported the following experience:

"We met a
couple who has three daughters, one of them in high school. They were displaced
from their home and neighborhood because the husband is a Shiite and the wife
is a Sunni. Their home was ransacked by terrorists, which made their situation
even more tragic. The wife's mother helped them as much as she could. Soon, the
wife became hopeless, but the light of Christ shined upon her, and she began to
trust people. She heard that we hadn't closed our doors to help people who
needed help. We helped her with food and provided gifts for her children. The
most important thing that we gave her was an ERV Arabic New Testament. She
placed it on her forehead (a traditional act of reverence) and said, ‘This book
gives us the peace through all the difficult circumstances.'"

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