Jesus is all about reaching people.
He does whatever it takes.
He heals, delivers, and forgives.
He speaks through His Word, faithful followers, and the occasional donkey.
He even speaks through visions and dreams.
All because He longs to bring people like Usama to Himself.
Usama awoke, shaken. He never had a dream like this before. He ran straight to his brother, asking for his advice.
“A man in white appeared to me. He said the strangest thing: ‘Salvation has come to you.’”
His brother’s eyes widened in alarm. Dreams like this could only mean trouble.
“It must be evil spirits,” he said. “Let’s go to the marabout.”
The marabout, a Muslim holy man, gave Usama charms to protect him from the spirits.
Usama felt conflicted. The dream didn’t seem evil, but he still put on the charms. That night, Usama had the same dream. When he woke up, he knew that the marabout was wrong.
This was not evil spirits.
This was Jesus.
Another day came and went, and a third time, Usama dreamed. This time he found himself crossing a river. The swirling waters grew deeper around him with every step. Suddenly, Jesus appeared. He called Usama to come and pulled him out of the water.
“Salvation has come to you. Go and preach this gospel of mine,” the man in white told him.
Usama awoke, confident that he wanted to follow Jesus, though he wasn’t sure how. He knew the persecution he would face as soon as others found out, but he could not ignore these dreams. He had to learn more.
As soon as his brother heard the news, he seized Usama’s property. He forced Usama’s children out of their home, so they wouldn’t be influenced by their father’s new faith. Usama was devastated by his brother’s actions but could not abandon his quest to learn more about Jesus. He reached out to a church in the area, but they knew the cruelty his family showed him and were afraid. If Usama’s family would take away his property and family, how much worse would they do to them?
Usama was all alone. When it seemed as though things could not get any worse, Usama was thrown into jail. He lost everything and still knew nothing more about Jesus.
Prison would change that.
TTI church planter Maka came to the jail and shared the gospel with Usama. Usama was overjoyed to finally learn about the God who visited him in his dreams. Maka discipled Usama and helped him grow in his faith.
When Usama was released from prison, he returned to his hometown.
No one was there to welcome him.
He had no family.
His brother took all he had.
Despite his great loss, Usama is confident that Jesus, who revealed Himself to him, will walk with him through difficulties and help him to share his faith with his Muslim community.
Call to Prayer
There are more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world today, just like Usama.
People searching for truth.
People striving to earn their way to heaven, never knowing if their future is secure.
People longing to know God.
They need Jesus.
This month, as Muslims around the world fast and pray during Ramadan, would you pray for them?
Pray that Jesus would reveal Himself to the Muslim world, just as He did to Usama.
Pray that their hearts would be softened to receive the truth of Jesus.
Many Muslims are ostracized and persecuted when they turn from Islam. Pray that fear would not hold them back and that God would give them the strength and courage they need to follow Him.
Pray that local churches would feel burdened to reach their Muslim communities with the gospel.
The Timothy Initiative trains disciple-makers and church planters in the six countries with the highest population of Muslims: Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Egypt.
Pray that these disciple-makers and church planters would preach the gospel with boldness, rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, and lead many from their Muslim communities to Christ.