The Price to Pay to Follow Christ!

Nargiza,* a former Muslim from a Central Asian republic, recently shared her story with our team. Her brother, out of curiosity, attended a local house church to see what it was about. After he encountered Jesus and was dramatically saved, Nargiza saw a marked transformation in his life. Her brother suddenly possessed a new peace and joy she had not witnessed in anyone.
Nargiza then started attending the same house church. A short time later, Nargiza opened her heart to Christ and experienced the same transformational power. However, she had not anticipated the strong opposition she would experience from her family. The antagonism from her own mother included physical beatings, magic spells, and other forms of intimidation to keep Nargiza from following Christ. She eventually had to move out of her home just to survive and continue following Jesus. As a single woman, other secret Christians in her city gratefully received her and demonstrated hospitality and kindness.

Nargiza participated in our annual Jonah Initiative training in Baguio, Philippines, at the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary. During this intensive training, students take courses such as Exploring Islam, Folk Islam, Business as Mission, Theological Approaches, Muslim-specific Pastoral Care, and Ministry to Muslim Women. Nargiza was among 33 students who came to Baguio for our annual training. The Holy Spirit is leading these students to ministry in Muslim lands like Pakistan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, China, and the Philippines.
During the class on Folk Islam, Nargiza came to understand the spiritual warfare she was facing. She recognized it was not just natural opposition, but rather a spiritual attack. Our team prayed with Nargiza and taught her insights on how to pray against the attacks of the enemy!

Nargiza’s story is a reminder of the price former Muslims pay when they decide to follow Christ. It often includes deep emotional rejection by family and friends in their community. Former Muslims encounter spiritual battles they cannot take on alone.
Hearing Nargiza’s story causes me to reflect on three important priorities for followers of Christ. In response to the price many Muslims must pay for a relationship with Christ, here are some ways we can support them:
1) Regularly intercede on their behalf. If you were in Nargiza’s place, wouldn’t it comfort you to know fellow believers around the world were praying for you to receive the Spirit’s strength and power to face opposition?
2) As a local church, be prepared to receive former Muslims into your fellowship. Thank the Lord that Nargiza received hospitality when she had to flee her home, but new believers from a Muslim background also need discipleship. Currently, the Global Initiative team is writing a discipleship book to help former Muslims in their new walk with Christ.
3) Pray for individuals, like Nargiza, whom God has called to evangelize and plant the church in their own nations. Across the Muslim world, believers are planting many churches—even in the midst of great opposition. As the church faces opposition, we can stand with them through prayer. Like Nehemiah, we know the Lord will fight the battle, but we must pray.

Your financial gift this month will help defray the expenses of training people like Nargiza in places like Baguio. Through your financial partnership, our team is able to continue equipping the Church to reach Muslims everywhere!

Thank you for your faithful commitment and heart to see Muslims reached with the Gospel—because every Muslim needs to know the truth about Jesus!

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