This story illustrates the great challenges of sharing the Gospel in places where Islam dominates. Preaching and sharing the Gospel to Palestinians is always at the risk of one’s life. For that reason, we at Maoz say little about what God is doing in the West Bank and Gaza. But your prayers for this abused people will bring results! God answers our prayers! So when you pray for Israel, do remember to pray for the lost sheep of our Arab neighbors. The story below is written by one of our co-laborers.
Fatima is a 21-year-old student who lives in one of the West Bank villages. When she was 16 years old her family forced her to marry an older man. She gave birth to a baby boy after a year. As is common in Islamic families, she lived with her husband in his parents’ house. Her husband abused her badly, and she often ran home to her own parents. But her father would always send her back to her husband.
At one point, her husband beat her so badly she suffered considerable injuries. She vowed she would never again go back to her husband. A year and a half after her marriage, the Palestinian courts granted her a divorce and custody of her child.
She decided to return to high school and graduated. She then began studies in a local college in the West Bank.
It happened that relatives came to visit her and her family. When they met Fatima, they took a fancy to her and suggested that she should consider marrying their son Ali who was, at that moment, studying at a university in Germany.
On a semester break, Ali came home to the West Bank and met Fatima. They began to get acquainted, and became officially engaged according to Muslim law. When he returned to continue his studies in Germany, he was in constant contact with her.
Then, her fiancé began to share with her about his new-found faith in Jesus the Messiah. As he explained how he had met the Messiah, he encouraged her to start seeking the truth for herself. She began searching the Internet and saw how Islam is not only a false religion, but its laws also abuse and persecute women.
From her own experience, she knew what she was learning was true, and she began to seriously seek Christ for herself. She began sharing with her younger sister and also with her best friend what she was discovering about the life of Jesus and the Christian faith.
Fatima’s best friend started searching the Internet for herself about the truth of Jesus, the Son of God. But her sister, to whom she had witnessed, told her family. When her father found out, he beat Fatima and demanded to know who was talking to her about Jesus. At this moment he is exploring ways to make problems for Ali who is still abroad studying.
My wife contacted Fatima and started praying with her that God would protect her and her fiancé from her father. She accepted Christ in her heart and now says, “I will never leave Him; Christ is my only hope in this life.”
My wife is discipling Fatima and her best friend every night. She shares with them a verse from the Bible and they pray together. Please pray for Fatima and her baby, that God will keep them safe, and especially that her former husband will not take the baby from her.
Fatima wants badly to be baptized in water. We are waiting for the right time.
Note: Not their actual names.
Last summer we held two summer camps in two different villages. Choosing a camp site can be a daunting task, especially when looking for one that not only offers fun and adventure, but also allows us to share foundations of the Christian faith.
Our main purpose is to equip a new generation to praise and love the One True God. We offered daily faith-based activities, such as Bible stories, and taught Christian songs while combining that with a variety of unique activities to reach as many participants as possible. With over 35 activities offered at each camp, kids found something they enjoyed throughout the one-week experience.
A total of 270 kids between the ages of 6 and 10 participated. Most of them are from Muslim families and some of the kids have special needs. The Christian songs we taught them were very important to the kids. And every day we made the Bible stories real and alive for the children. In one camp we were able to give the campers a Bible storybook about creation to take home with them. The camps open doors for us to visit the families at homes and build good relationships with the family.