A Muslim woman in the Middle East just wanted to pass some time when she decided to watch a Facebook video about Christianity, but when she heard the speaker say that Jesus is God, she fired off some insulting replies.
Rojda* also messaged the teacher, a native missionary, that Jesus of Nazareth was merely a prophet. She requested a New Testament under a false name so she could cite passages from the Bible itself to prove this to him, she said.
“Yet, as I read the New Testament, my whole attitude changed,” Rojda said. “My husband noticed that I was reading a New Testament, and I quickly hid it with fear of what he would do to me.”
Surprisingly, her husband gently told her that he had attended a church service out of curiosity while visiting another city, she said. He told her he’d heard about a church in their city and suggested they visit it. Rojda then opened a new Facebook account, connected with the local missionary she had reviled before and asked him – a convert from Islam – some questions about his faith.
“His answers and my continued searching of the New Testament caused me to believe with all my heart, yet I didn’t share this with my husband, who really only gave me permission to read the New Testament, not to believe what it says,” Rojda said.
She initiated a series of conversations about religion with her husband, hoping to draw him into discussions about Christianity.
Rojda said she asked him if he had seen any of the local missionary’s church sermons posted online and noted that men and women sat together during worship, which her religion told her was forbidden.
“He responded by saying, ‘Open the website, and let’s watch it together,’” Rojda said. “We watched where even the children were included in the worship times, which was so attractive to us. How nice to worship God as a family, all together.”
She and her husband watched the online sermons regularly for several months, the local missionary said. They managed to find his telephone number online and sent him a text message saying they wanted to talk.
“They shared with me how they had been watching our messages online for a long time,” the local missionary said. “After listening to a number of my messages, they decided to believe in Jesus, but they were afraid to actually come to church due to threats from those around them. We had such a good chat with them, praying with them for strength to continue in their faith.”
Rojda told her younger brother about Christ, and he also put his trust in Him. Though it was not possible to attend church services regularly due to COVID-19 and opposition from Muslim relatives, all three new Christians went to the church site to be baptized, the worker said.
“They have united with us in the church spiritually in a wonderful way,” he said. “God is at work in every situation here.”
The new faith of the young couple was an answer to prayer for natives to turn to Christ in a country where most of those coming to faith are refugees from the region, the local missionary said.
He said he sometimes worries that refugees only become Christian, or even pretend to become Christian, because of the aid they receive from the local ministry. The worker and his team recently travelled to another city to baptize a group of refugees who had put their faith in Christ after hearing his online messages.
“We were able to take helpful supplies to them using the funds you sent to us, so we want to express our thankfulness for your prayers and support,” he wrote to Christian Aid Mission. “After we connected with them and prayed for them, some questions entered my mind: While we are away from them for months, will they forget to read the New Testament? Will they continue to pray? Did they really put their faith in Jesus? Or did they just fake it all for the helpful things we brought to them?”
The feedback the team received from the new Christians in the following weeks put him at ease, he said.
“The answer to those questions is no, they really did see God’s glory and put their faith in Him, and it wasn’t because we came to them and gave them help, but because our Lord was with them, giving them a desire to pray, and giving them a desire to get together in small groups to study the Bible,” he said. “They are learning many things with God’s help and sharing their testimonies with others.”
The refugees and other new Christians are hungry for God’s Word, and they are reading it together with their children and spouses, he said.
“Both men and women are searching for more of God’s truth and teaching it like God’s servants,” he wrote to Christian Aid Mission. “I feel so grateful for your prayer support enabling us to help these young believers in small ways.”
Online and in person, local missionaries are proclaiming Christ throughout the region. Please consider a donation today to help them bring eternal life in Christ to spiritually hungry people.
*Name changed for security reasons