Monthly Archives: September 2011

Bringing the Unreached to be Reached in Moscow

In a cold, bustling, stern city of 10 million+ people, it’s easy to wonder how or where to even begin a relationship, especially when you’re hoping to reach out to Muslims. For a month, we walked the streets of the city, watching the people and praying for opportunities. During this time, I read II Corinthians 2, “Therefore, since we do hold and engage in this ministry by the mercy of God [granting us favor, benefits, opportunities, and especially salvation], we do not get discouraged (spiritless and despondent with fear) or become faint with weariness and exhaustion.” (Amplified Bible)

God is bringing the unreached to Moscow to hear truth.

I realized once again that this was God’s work; He was walking in front of us and alongside of us. He was just waiting to reveal His plan for this city. I was reminded of this, when we went to a market to meet with an Afghan friend. After talking with him and sharing some Scriptures, we headed next door to buy some apricots. We quickly noticed that the vendor was a Tajik and chatted a little with him in Tajik. Impressed that we spoke his language, he called his friends over, so when we walked around a corner, a group called out “Asalom Alekum!”

A few stalls down, we stopped to buy a satchel for my husband. As I stood with our two daughters, a girl walked over and began chatting with us. She was Uzbek! We talked about her homeland and she gave my daughters a present. As we walked away, I was amazed at God’s word to my heart. “I’m drawing all men to Myself, and I care about them so much that I’m bringing the world, the unreached, those in closed countries to you!”

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Remembering

On this day, as many around the world are remembering the terror of September 11th, we are reposting this blog entry from the 30-Days Prayer Network. The prayer points listed below are especially relevant today as we evaluate our attitudes as Christians toward Muslims.

God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
(Acts 17:31)

In the summer of 2010 the whole world had its eyes directed toward New York City in the USA. A new mosque was being proposed just two blocks away from the “September 11th Ground Zero” site in lower Manhattan.

Surprises

Suddenly the entire planet knew that there were Muslims in New York City. Most Americans also discovered to their surprise that there are possibly 600,000 Muslims in New York City as well as over 100 mosques. In 1970 there were fewer than ten mosques. One mosque, located four blocks from “Ground Zero,” even lost several of its members in the famous terrorist attack in 2001.

The Call

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No matter what people may think and feel about Muslims building a mosque near the “Ground Zero” site, we as believers are all called to pray for the accomplishing of God’s purposes among the Muslims of the city of New York. He is certainly calling many Muslims into His eternal Kingdom. Jesus’ blood was shed for them. Let’s pray for Muslims in the New York City area.

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Prayer Starters:

  • Search your own heart concerning September 11th. Has the event made you bitter, prejudiced and angry toward Muslims in general because of this attack? (Hebrews 12:15)
  • Pray for the families who have lost loved ones in the September 11th attacks. Pray that they will be able to make peace with the past and be ready to move forward with the rest of their lives, leaving any bitterness behind. God is the only one who can bring help to the families who suffered these losses.
  • Pray for members of the Muslim community in New York that have suffered prejudice and abuse simply for being Muslims as a result of the attacks.
  • Remember that there is a spiritual battle in the heavens for the salvation of the many Muslims in the city who are still very much in the hands of the enemy. They need deliverance from the guilt and shame of sin, from the power of death and from fear of the evil one. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Proclaim Hebrews 2:14 over the city.
  • Pray for Muslims in the New York area to discover the truth about the Messiah, Jesus through friendships with believers, through supernatural intervention, and traditional radio, television, internet, books, tracts, DVDs and the Bible.
  • Many new workers are needed. Believers from all New York are needed to proclaim the Good News in the Muslim community.

Why We Stay in Moscow

Today, I went into a fitness center to renew a membership.  The manager was sitting off in a corner, smoking a cigarette, mad as a hornet that we were rude enough to intrude on her day.
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“Excuse me,” I asked, “We’d like to extend a membership.”
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“Can’t help you.  Cash register’s broken,” she snarled without making eye contact.
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“When will it be fixed?” I asked.
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“Maybe today.  Maybe not,” came out in the middle of a smoke cloud.  Again, no eye contact. Service with a scowl. I walked out of there, kind of disgusted with people in Moscow.  But then I remembered Shahid.
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Shahid was pushing a “borrowed” shopping cart through the bazaar, offering to haul people’s purchases.  As this Uzbek Muslim man wearing a prayer cap walked past me, we made eye contact.
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Thousands of unreached are in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

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Before he could finish asking me, “Do you need a cart?,” I squeezed in an “Asalam Aleykum!” This means “peace to you” in Arabic.  Shahid stopped in his tracks as he doesn’t hear that very often from a Russian-looking face.  He told me his story. He had finished studying for nine years in a madrassa.  At the beginning of Ramadan, he shamed the Muslim owner of the bazaar into letting him use a vacant room for their tradition of ritual prayers.
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“Now,”  he proudly told me, “seventy of us gather for prayers five times/day.” He is the prayer leader.  As I offered to give him a Magdalena film in Uzbek, two Dagestanis jumped in and rudely demanded that he not take the film.  Shahid, however, followed me out of the bazaar to the Metro.  It was clear he wanted to talk.  He ended up eagerly taking the film.
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I have been praying for him since.  Two days ago, I returned to that bazaar and called him.  We met and talked near the Metro entrance.  I pulled out my pocket Bible and read Hebrews 11:6 to him.  He listened intently.  I think his Russian was good enough to understand what I said.
He stared at the Book and then asked me quietly, “Can you get me one of those in Uzbek?” We stood there and prayed, hands open up to God, as people churned around us entering and leaving the Metro.  Shahid did not care. Neither did I.
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This is why we are here.   And this is what you were made for, as well.


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