How Long Does it Take for a Muslim to Come to Christ?

Often we think that it takes years for a Muslim to hear and come to Christ, but this isn’t always the case. We are finding open hearts in Moscow more and more often, as this story of Kutman illustrates:

Two believing ladies first met Kutman, a Central Asian man, who was working at a bank in Moscow. Then they asked me to meet him. It was a little awkward as there was no context for us to get together, but the following week I had tea with this banker at a café. He warmed up after a little while.

Knowing that I might never see him again, I plunged into the Gospel. It was clear he had never heard it before. We read John 3, and I asked him, “How many types of people are there?”

“Two,” he replied, “forgiven and judged.”

Later I wished I had asked him the question, “Which one are you?,” but I think he understood it. We left, with the polite promise to see each other again. I was wondering if he really wanted to meet anymore. The very next day he called me and eagerly asked, “When can we get together?”

Pray for Kutman as he hears truth. Pray that he will understand his need for forgiveness and respond.

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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!”


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.
ANY CHARACTER HERE
“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.
ANY CHARACTER HERE

This is why we are here.   And this is what you were made for, as well.


Almost Unbelievable

Today is the first of a three-day holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan — Eid-al-Fitr. Muslims gather for special prayers, feasting with family and friends and often decorate their homes and wear new clothes for the holidays.

Muslims in Moscow gathered in massive numbers to celebrate Eidl-al-Fitr. Although we meet Muslims every day on the streets of Moscow, it’s almost unbelievable to see just how many call Moscow their home. Today’s gathering demonstrates how strategic Moscow has become in reaching Muslims in Russia and around the world. As you view these pictures today, pray for Muslims in Moscow. Pray for more workers who can speak the heart languages of the people here. Pray for Christian Russians to have a passion for reaching out to their Muslim neighbors.

(Pictures are courtesy of another blog. To view all of the pictures from today’s celebrations, click here: http://zyalt.livejournal.com/446729.html#cutid1


In the News . . . No New Mosque for Moscow’s Muslims

http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnplayer.swf?aid=22507

This is a great video (produced in April 2011) illustrating how many Muslims are in Moscow and the pressures they are facing. By 2050, Moscow is predicted to be predominantly Muslim. Moscow is already feeling the tensions between Russians fighting against change and the ever-growing Muslim population pushing for recognition of its needs.

In the link below, you can read the current status of Moscow’s Muslims’ request for a new mosque and the reaction:

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Moscow,-a-park-instead-of-the-new-mosque-22433.html


Night of Power – Prayers for Forgiveness

We prayed that she would have a vision or dream . . . and she did . . .

 

Tonight is a special night for Muslims around the world. It’s called the “Night of Power.” Dedicated Muslims will stay up all night, praying for a dream, a vision or the appearance of an angel who will assure them of forgiveness of their sins or grant another request. Take a minute today to pray that many Muslims around the world will have a dream or vision — of Jesus. Pray that they will come to understand that true forgiveness is found only through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross, in payment for our sins.

In Tajikistan, Appai Zebo looked forward to the Night of Power. As a devout Muslim, she had been fasting during the day all throughout Ramadan. Tonight, with her husband, she would pray throughout the night, seeking a vision from an angel which would assure her of her forgiveness of her sins. She desperately sought for that assurance.

That night she and her husband lay on their prayer mats on the floor, their hands extended in prayer. Zebo was tired from her day’s work but she faithfully tried to stay awake. When she dozed, her husband nudged her back to prayer.

Exhaustion finally overtook her, and she dozed. During this time, she had a dream. She saw a wide river and a friend was standing near it, calling her to come. She walked toward her friend, and the friend linked arms with her and walked toward the river. She felt tremendous peace and joy. Then her husband nudged her awake.

In the following days, Zebo couldn’t forget the dream but she didn’t know what it meant. She went to her friend and asked, “Do you know what this dream means?” The woman promised to pray about it and returned.

Later, she returned to Zebo and said, “Jesus said He is the Living Water (John 6:35). Whoever drinks of Him will not be thirsty.”

“So you were leading me towards Him?” asked Zebo.

“Perhaps,” replied the friend.

Zebo pondered this dream for many days, although she never publicly professed to believe Jesus’ words. Pray that as she prays tonight, she will remember this dream. Pray that through her rituals and religious seeking, she will seek Truth. Pray that Truth will be revealed to her, and that she will believe.


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