Posts Tagged ‘Missionary


A Wind in the House of Islam

David Garrison’s book A Wind in the House of Islam was recommended in the audio featured in my previous post. I ordered a copy this morning.

Here Garrison is interviewed about the content of his book prior to its release in 2013.


Muslims, Mission and Martyrdom with Dr. Jerry Rankin

I’ve recommended and posted a few audios from this source.

This is one includes another very interesting interview worth the listening time.

The interview starts around the 7 minute 25 second point, after some banter between the podcast presenters.


This audio and the rest in the series can be downloaded from the site at the above link.
I’ve downloaded episodes to a USB stick so I can listen to them in the car on my way to and from work. I find that much more practical than sitting at the computer to hear them.


Across the Cultures: A Shared Need of God.

In recent weeks I’ve been trawling through the book section of charity shops and picking out novels by authors with a “non-western” background. I find it helpful to read things that give an “insider’s” perspective of other cultures. It helps to shake up (and shake down) the complacent assumptions that can be drawn when we remain closeted with the comfortable and familiar. I’ve come to understand that reluctance to challenge our cultural assumptions merely  entrenches the sense of our own “rightness” no matter how unreasonable or wrong that “rightness” may actually be.


One of my trawling sessions brought me to Noriko Dethlefs’ (non-fiction)book In His Strength, subtitled “Letters from Afghanistan 2005-2009”. It was the subtitle that caught my attention because I had been reading books about Afghanistan and its people, and had a few more on my “to be read” shelf. This one is a short book that I knew wouldn’t take long to get through.


By concentrating on the subtitle more than the actual title, I initially overlooked the title’s strong suggestion that the book had a Christian connection. I didn’t realise the significance  of the title until I looked closer after I got home and I found the author and her husband has been in Afghanistan working with CBM (formerly Christian Blind Mission).


Apart from the Christian and Afghanistan connections that make the book significant to my interests, I found the author and her husband not only came from my former home city of Wollongong, she had lectured at my University and they belonged to a church that I had visited on one or two occasions.


Noriko Dethlefs’ account of her life in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2009 not  only gives an insight into different cultural attitudes and religious beliefs, the daily dangers faced by both locals and foreigners and the lack of comforts that we in the “west” take for granted, the book shows that despite those differences, there is a shared, vulnerable humanity, of people in need of relationship with God. That’s something too often forgotten or purposely avoided for political expediency.


A few excerpts:

“Her story [about the death of her older brother in a bomb attack] brought tears to my eyes and a smile to hers. She explained that her pain was lessened because my heart was ‘soft enough to weep freely’. Tears no longer come easily to those who have been enduring pain for years and years. There have been other occasions when women have thanked me for ‘shedding the tears they no longer have’ as they retold their stories of pain.”


“If only the common greeting ‘Salam (alekum)’, meaning ‘peace (be upon you’), could become a reality for these people, who repeatedly use this greeting all day every day, and yet know so little of what it means.”

It puzzles people that we talk of a ‘loving’ God, as none of the ninety-nine names for God that are used in Afghanistan even hints at ‘love’. Here, the concept of God is more like that of a Master who gives commands for us to obey, or that of a Creator who has given rules to the ‘Created’ to follow. The audacity of us likeminded people* referring to God as ‘our Father’ or ‘our God’, and claiming to have a personal relationship with him, is beyond their comprehension.


* throughout the book the author uses the term “likeminded people” as a euphemism to describe her Christian community within Afghanistan, “for security purposes”.


A more detailed description of the book can be found here:


“Why I Work with Muslims”


The issue for the Muslim world is a lack of access to the gospel.


As an alternative to a common saying that refers to the bringing together of Mohammed and a mountain, let me propose the following:


When the gospel of Jesus is refused access to the Muslim world, God brings the Muslim world to where the gospel of Jesus IS accessible.


Lessons For Western Christians

“What attracted me is the loving environment of the church”


Fadi became a Christian because he read the New Testament. “I read about the teachings of Jesus, the high values and virtues. The high standards Jesus teaches are the biggest evidence that these are teachings of God. What also attracted me is the loving environment of the church; that is something impossible to find outside.

Sadly, it seems to be very hard to find that “loving environment of the church” within large sections of the alleged church in the “west”.


Muslims Turn to Christ in Unprecedented Numbers Pt. 1

The Islamic State has been filling the headlines for a long time and filling the hearts of many people in the Middle East with fear. But in the midst of all this, the church in the Middle East is showing the love of Christ to those who fled their homes. Muslims in the Middle East are turning to Jesus in unprecedented numbers.

complete article here:


Muslims Turn to Christ in Unprecedented Numbers Pt. 2

Somewhere in Lebanon we meet with a young woman named Karima*, a refugee from Aleppo. She still covers her hair, but the change in the way she dresses compared with when she first arrived in Lebanon is obvious. She became a Christian more than two years ago. Karima and her husband, also a convert, are now working with one of the churches in Lebanon, both as teachers to Syrian refugee children. They had their doubts about Islam before they came to Lebanon. She saw miracles happen in her life because the pastor of a church prayed for her. God provided a place for them to live, a job and even healed her seriously sick son.

complete article here:


Aleppo Churches Open Doors to Displaced Muslim Families

“Many Muslims were genuinely surprised when they met Christian women in our churches willing to serve them. Their image was that all Christian women spend most of their days dancing in nightclubs and drinking alcohol! Meeting each other was a shock, both for them and for us,” says Kristina. Kristina also says the Muslim women were surprised to see that churches offered support and programs for all Syrians, not just for Christians. “Their mosques don’t do that,” Kristina says. “Many are re-thinking the faith they grew up in and have dropped their hostility towards Christians.”

complete article here:


Gospel For Blood Thirsty Men

The Gospel for Bloodthirsty Men from FAI on Vimeo.


The following thoughts are my own and aren’t an expression of anything that the producers of the above video have said, so I take complete responsibility for them. (Although I think their message and mine aren’t following different tracks ).


The “western” church has a unique opportunity to reach out to Muslims with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whereas many Muslim countries have been more or less closed to the gospel, the Lord has been bringing Muslim families out from those closed lands to the “freedom” of the west, where sharing of the gospel isn’t hindered by legal and political constraints.


Sadly the response from parts of “the church” hasn’t been welcoming. Instead political rhetoric, fear and hostility have become far too prevalent responses from professing believers. Responses that have demonised those the Lord has brought to us, who we should be helping, and sharing the love of Christ. So instead of the gospel being denied to Muslims by hostile governments, it is being denied to them by the fear and hostility of people claiming to follow Christ.


Many of those Muslim people have experienced some of the very worst of things done in the name of Islam, so a genuine expression of love from those who claim to follow Jesus would offer them a significant contrast to what they’ve experienced from their own religion. But are they getting that?
Sadly, mostly, no!


Expressions of hostility against Muslim refugees not only robs them of the gospel and the opportunity to turn to Jesus; it has the potential of hardening them to the gospel, increasing the likelihood of a reciprocal hostility and thereby CAUSING the very kind of reaction that had been feared. They have long-standing impressions of anti-Muslim “crusaders” reinforced, increasing the likelihood of withdrawal into religious enclaves within our nations that potentially become fertile environments for extremism.


What COULD be an alternative to creating and fostering that kind extremist, radicalisation environment that leads young Muslim men to violent reactions against the “Christian” West?


The alternative could be groups of equally committed former Muslims, drawn to the Lord through a living example of the love of Christ being shown to them by followers of Jesus; former Muslims being equipped to return to their homelands to take the gospel where the majority of us could never go.


Sheep Among Wolves

Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

Hatred and exclusion aren’t things we like to experience, so we’ll do what we can to avoid them. However to what lengths will we go to maintain whatever acceptance, respect, security and comfort we may have?

Are we willing to compromise our Christian witness and the validity of the gospel we’ve been commanded to preach, just to maintain “freedoms” allegedly upheld by the political systems within our “western” societies?

And what if the hatred and exclusion leads to physical danger – even threatening our lives? Where would our priorities lie?

Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.

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