A Story from the Horn of Africa
One day someone gave me an Injil (New Testament) and it was in the Arabic language! I was astonished because I had been told that the New Testament had been corrupted, but this was in Arabic and God would never allow Arabic to be corrupted, as that’s His language. So I took it home and began reading it that night. When I went to sleep I had a dream. I saw a minaret that had a broken speaker at the top which someone was working on. Then suddenly the entire minaret shook. I looked at the base of the minaret and saw a man with an axe trying to destroy it. I woke up feeling very shocked because when I saw the face of the person chopping the minaret, it was me. I had the same dream four times that night.
The next day I went to the man who gave me the Injil and asked him what the dream meant. He smiled and told me, “You are going to win many sheikhs for Christ!” I went and told my parents immediately of my decision to follow Christ. I lost my job (I had been the leader of an Islamic centre, responsible for training 300 Imams) and my father tried to kill me. Despite this, I was able to see 400 sheikhs come to Christ, 300 of whom have been baptised so far.
An Unprecedented Move of God
David Garrison travelled over a quarter of a million miles, meeting and interviewing about a thousand Muslim background followers of Jesus. He wanted to find out their stories and, in particular, what God had used to bring them to faith. From his painstaking and thorough research, and with extensive input from leading missiologists, he wrote a book entitled “A Wind in the House of Islam”. Here are David’s answers to some key questions.
What is happening in the Muslim world today?
From one end of the Muslim world to the other, Muslims are having dreams and visions and seeing specific answers to their prayers. Many talked to me about how they tested God and said, “If this is real, I’m going to pray and, if you’re really there Lord, I want you to hear this.” And Jesus began to reveal himself. They came to realise that to follow Christ was to follow a living Lord, and that realisation was the real turning point.
I believe, through the research I have done, that somewhere between two and seven million Muslims have come to follow Jesus just in the last two decades, which is staggering! God is at work in the Muslim world, frankly, in ways that we have never seen before.
Why are so many Muslims turning to Christ?
There are several contributing factors:
- God is giving Muslim-background believers increasing boldness to talk about their new faith with their friends and family.
- There are many more cross-cultural workers these days willing to go as families to these difficult places to share the gospel with Muslims.
- Prayer is making a substantial difference. The 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim world during the month of Ramadan has now been going for 22 years, during which time more than 80% of all these movements have occurred.
- The Word of God is being translated into the heart language of many Muslim peoples and being produced in video and audio format.
Why did you write the book?
Firstly, I wanted to document these movements with historical accuracy. Secondly, I wanted to encourage Christians who are fearful of or feel threatened by Muslims to consider God’s perspective. This is their ‘day of salvation’ and God wants to use us to love Muslims, to minister to them and to take the gospel to them.
I wanted to show the ways that God is at work in the Muslim world, because clearly something is happening that we haven’t seen before. The body of Christ worldwide can learn from the testimonies of the courageous men and women that I met.
Finally, I hope this book will be an inspiration to Muslims who are considering another way, that they might find truth, forgiveness and a living relationship with God.
In June David Garrison will be speaking at events throughout the UK. Further details soon at www.hopeformuslims.org.
This article was first published in the Frontiers Connected newsletter, which can be subscribed to here (www.frontiers.org.uk).