A ministry in the Middle East sent the following report about one of the men they are training to be a missionary.
“Fahd” is in his late thirties. He came from a large family with a very abusive father. By the time he was seven years old he was an uncontrolled street gangster. His father did not care. He had little parental guidance or care.
As a teenager he was involved in all kinds of criminal activities, but managed to finish high school. He went to Saudi Arabia to get a job and made a lot of money. Returning home, he developed a successful business, but his life was restless. He wanted a purpose in life. His heart was empty.
A local missionary contacted him and gave him a New Testament and some evangelistic books. The missionary spent a lot of time with him, answered his objections to Christianity, explained the gospel to him, and prayed with and for him. In time he believed in Jesus Christ.
As a passionate new Christian, he boldly won many others to Christ. The missionary and other local believers taught him how to follow-up with new believers. He traveled from town to town planting new groups, but lacked the heart of a pastor.
Soon he was discovered by a militant group, and they tried to kill him. He was attacked and badly wounded, but escaped alive, though he could not go for proper medical care. After healing, he continued his evangelism.
Though he was an effective evangelist, he still carried with him some of the old gruffness that he had in his old life. About three months ago it was decided to send him to Bible training. During the training he demonstrated anger, irresponsibility, aggressiveness, and intolerance.
The teachers were patient with him, prayed with him, and counseled him from Scripture. Many of the classes were designed for men like Fahd.
Because he grew up viewing everything through the lens of Islam, he had a limited biblical view. For example, he did not understand grace and patience with others. He knew hate, but not biblical love for others. In his view, he needed to take vengeance on anyone he thought hinted at belittling him.
The thing that finally helped him was understanding that his life was full of a fleshly nature, and he needed to allow the Holy Spirit to deal with it. He was also taught how there were aspects of his Muslim worldview that contradicted the Bible. After that, his outlook was very different and he completed his training.
He was tempted not to go back to his home area after finishing the training, but he said, “God saved me from these people for a good reason, and it is to continue sharing the good news with many searching people.” He returned home and is an effective evangelist, but he still lacks the heart of pastor as he deals with the believers.
We have some who are great at shepherding believers and ineffective as evangelists. Fahd is the opposite. Both have a place in Christ’s body, but we would like for Fahd to be more than an evangelist. Pray for him. Pray for others who are not effective evangelists. We all need God’s Spirit.
The example of Fahd illustrates the challenges we face in reaching people from our Muslim culture. We love to see a person like Fahd lead Muslims to Christ, and we see definite evidence of God’s grace in his life. But he still has heart problems. We still have a long way to go together.
We can get very discouraged with Fahd and others like him, but we notice in 1 Timothy 1:16 that our Lord was very patient with another man with a notorious past: Paul. Pray that by grace Fahd will receive the same faith from our Lord as Paul (1 Timothy 1:14).
It is good news that there is much interest in our country in Jesus Christ. As each believer is doing his part, many more are believing and maturing in Christ and missionaries are being developed. Pray for Fahd and other newer believers. If God does in them what He did in the Apostle, Satan will have a hard time keeping our country in the dark. Pray that our country will be covered with the power of our Lord.Due to security reasons we cannot disclose details about the location or identity of missionaries working in Arab countries. This report is from one missionary working in an Arab country. Your offering helps a missionary or missions project similar to the one in this report.