Middle East (MNN) – Today marks the halfway point of Ramadan this year, as it goes from June 5 – July 5, 2016. We’ve been sharing prayer points during the past few weeks of Ramadan, and exploring the needs of Muslims in the US, abroad, and in refugee communities.
But in addition to praying, often the best way to make a connection and have an impact for Christ is through personal relationships. According to Perry LaHaie with Frontiers USA, eight out of 10 Muslims have never met a Christian.
“They have misconceptions about what a Christian is, and they have misconceptions about who Jesus is,” says LaHaie.
“[Jesus] spoke over 90 times in the Koran, but it’s not the full picture of who Jesus is. So they just need to meet real Jesus followers who can explain what Jesus is all about and introduce them to the Bible…We want to introduce Muslims to Jesus so they can experience the joy we have in Him.”
For Frontiers and their mission teams, their goal is to make connections in Muslim communities and build friendships that lead to an exchange of faith conversations.
“It’s all about relationships. Muslims are highly relational people and we’ve just got to take the time to build those relationships and build that trust so we can speak into their lives the truth and the love of Jesus. That’s really Frontiers approach. We’re just all about building relationships with Muslims, sharing our faith, listening to them share their faith, and here’s an opportunity to dive in and see what that’s like!”
Frontiers offers several trips to get immersed in Muslim culture and communities for short-term opportunities. Their hope is that team members would gain a heart for the Muslim people, and maybe even be open to a long-term missions calling.
LaHaie shares several missions opportunities for you to travel to various* Muslim communities.
Contact [email protected] for more information on any of the following trips.
Missions in the Arab Gulf
Frontiers has a trip from July 4 – August 5 headed to the Arab Gulf. The main part of the trip would be teaching conversational English in a Muslim community.
LaHaie explains, “It would mean being a part of the team we have on the ground there….. It would be spending a number of hours during the day teaching conversational English, and then just opportunities to scope out the city that it’s in, taking in the sights and sounds and being immersed in the Muslim culture, and perhaps get a heart to go long-term.”
The experience is bound to be eye-opening and life-changing. “It’s an opportunity to… build relationships with Muslims, to see what it’s like to be in the Muslim world and there will be opportunities to share your faith.”
The cost for this trip to the Arab Gulf is $2,500.
Missions in Central Asia
Frontiers will be leading another trip to Central Asia in November specifically for pastors and Christian leaders. They are calling it a Vision Trip, where the team members will work with unengaged people groups — a community of people who are not currently reached with the Gospel.
LaHaie says this trip in particular will stretch team members out of their comfort zones, because a lot of it will be grassroots outreach led by Frontiers as they search for opportunities presented by the Holy Spirit.
“It would be a lot of figuring it out as you go along, because these are areas where the Gospel has never gone. You know, no one’s going to meet you at the airport. It would be just, ‘Lord, what’s the next step? And who are the people of peace you want us to meet?’ [You’ll be] trying to build relationships, trying to see if people will invite you into their homes and sharing faith and sort of just scoping out the land.
The hope is that this trip would move pastors and Christian leaders to take what they’ve seen and experienced while sharing Christ in the Muslim community, and pass it along to others.
“Just to go and see, ‘Wow, this is a place that really needs the Gospel.’ And just to have the Holy Spirit breathe that into them and then bring that to their ministry, bring that to their congregation and start mobilizing their congregation for these unengaged parts of the world.”
Missions in the Far East
Besides Frontiers, LaHaie is also in connection with another team taking people for missions in the Far East with another unengaged Muslim people group.
This trip is really a frontline witnessing opportunity. The Muslim people group this team would be working with in the Far East is made-up of a couple million individuals, and only one team to reach them all with the Gospel.
LaHaie explains, “My friend and his team are now working in this group so in a sense they’re now engaged, but in a very small way because they’re the only team working with this group. So if you’re interested in doing frontline work with a group that’s up till now never had a Christian worker, you can reach out to us and we would love to see if you might be a good match for this team.”
Muslim communities in the Far East often have a variety of needs both tangible and spiritual. “There’s a lot of poverty in situations like that; not in all cases. There’s need for education, for social justice. But they really just need the Gospel and they don’t know what Christianity is really all about.”
If you can’t go on any of these trips, you can still contribute financially and make it possible for someone else to go. For a limited time, a matching donor will double every dollar of your gift to Frontiers’ mission work.
In addition to giving to or going on these trips, the teams need the encouragement of your prayers as they engage in Muslim friendships for Christ.
LaHaie asks, “Pray that God will open hearts to the Gospel. Muslims are having dreams and visions of Jesus. [Pray] that God will just really show up in dreams and visions especially during Ramadan because they’re really open to hearing from God.
“Pray for workers. There’s 1,108 Muslim people groups that don’t have Christian workers. So pray for laborers…. More and more people are responding to go, and I just believe the greatest harvest in the Muslim world is ahead.
“And during Ramadan, just pray that it will be a season of jubilee. That there will be debts forgiven and slaves set free.”
*Locations are vague for security purposes. To learn more about any of these trips to potentially join a team, contact [email protected].