Sharing Jesus in the Middle East

[notice]Muslim woman’s step-by-step journey of discovering who Jesus really is.[/notice]

A young Middle Eastern woman

Shantelle* has been on assignment with Operation Mobilisation (OM), in the Middle East since 2010. Since then, she has learned that Muslims have at least three popular misconceptions concerning Christianity. First, they think that Christians believe in three gods; Jesus, Allah, and Mary or Gabrielle. Second, they do not believe that Jesus was ever crucified. Third, they think that the Western culture, especially Hollywood, is representing a Christian nation.

Shantelle is doing her part to teach them what true Christianity is by being an example while hoping torectify their false conceptions about Christians.For two years, she has been in the Middle East learning Arabic. When she first landed in the country where she is ministering, she only knew one word: “Shukran”, which means “thank you”. Her language is rapidly improving.

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“But who is Jesus? Do you know him?
One day Shantelle met a woman in a taxi who invited her back to her house to visit with her family. She was invited back and on the second visit, she met the woman’s sister, Wulma. Shantelle soon learned that Wulma’s husband was cheating on her. This devastated Wulma and she left her husband and took her two young daughters and moved into her parents’ house.
When Wulma shared with Shantelle about her marriage, Shantelle said, “I know your life is broken, but there is hope in Jesus.”
The woman replied, “But, who is Jesus? Do you know him?”

Shantelle was able to share the whole gospel with Wulma and her sisters, especially how Jesus was crucified and then rose three days later.Wulma requested a Bible since she was desperate to find hope again. On their next visit, Shantelle gave Wulma the Gospel of Luke and told her to read the precept that explained the Trinity, Son of God, and other vital Christian beliefs. She also told her that what she had given her was not the whole book. Within two days, Wulma had finished the book and had passed it on to her family members.

When they were together again, Wulma’s father attacked Shantelle for her beliefs, but Wulma defended her friend. It is very unusual for a Muslim daughter to defy her father. She told her father that he should read, “the book.” (In the Middle East, missionaries are not allowed to evangelize and certain terms/words should be used with wisdom, which is why they usually refer to the Bible this way.)

Healing prayer
Shantelle soon learned that Wulma’s 5-month-old daughter was diagnosed with a hip deformity. The Doctors had taken x-rays of the baby and told Wulma that her daughter would probably never walk. Shantelle saw the x-rays and asked if she could pray for the baby. She clarified that she would be praying in Jesus’ name. Wulma agreed to the request.

A few weeks later, Wulma called to update Shantelle on a follow-up doctor’s visit. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with the baby. They were certain that she would be able to walk one day. Shantelle told Wulma that Jesus had healed her baby. Wulma agreed, although she wasn’t sure what to do with that realization.

When Shantelle met with her friend again, she asked herwhat she had thought about the book of Luke. Wulma replied that she wanted to read the rest of the book. Shantelle was able to give her an Arabic New Testament which she started reading immediately.

Wulma’s family forced her to move back into her husband’s house. It was far out in a village, but close to her in-laws. On one visit, Wulma and Shantelle walked to her in-laws’ house. Upon meeting them, Shantelle was again criticized about her beliefs in front of Wulma, which led to Wulma standing up for her once more. One of the women present was sick andShantelle offered to pray for her – but she refused. Together, Shantelle and Wulma were able to share how Jesus had healed a man with leprosy. Wulma had been familiar with the story from reading her Bible.

“I believe Jesus was crucified”
As they walked back to her home, Shantelle asked her, “What do you believe about the things I’ve shared today?”
Wulma had tears in her eyes as she replied, “I believe Jesus was crucified.” That statement meant the world to Shantelle. She had been in several discussions with Muslims where she could get no farther than to hear them adamantly reply, “Jesus was never crucified.” Shantelle was amazed that Wulma had come to this conclusion, even before she had given her a copy of the “Jesus” film.

It was four months before the women could get together againand Shantelle believes it was due to strong spiritual warfare. When they finally saw each other, Wulma opened the door and burst into tears of joy. She told her, “The more I read the Bible, the more I understand that there’s something special about Jesus.”

Wulma has not accepted Jesus as her Savior, yet, but Shantelle believes she is close to making that decision. She believes that she’s going to come to faith and that she’s going to lead her family to Jesus. She already evangelizes by taking her Bible to work and sharing about what she’s read.Shantelle and Wulma are planning to start studying the Bible together from Creation to Christ – which will give her a much better understanding of who Jesus really is.

Shantelle has three prayer requests: pray that Wulma will accept Jesus into her life and that she will reach her family, pray that Shantelle and Wulma would find a time and place to study the Word together, and pray that Wulma’s husband will not stand in the way of her salvation.

* Not her real name

One Comment

  1. Desiree Ebrahim

    Go out and make disciples…God’s command to us. Shantelle I thank God for your willingness to follow His command. I too had a sister who returned to God after many prayers and crying….keep up spreading the GOOD NEWS