Greetings, from chilly South Africa! For those of you in the northern parts of the States, you won’t be too impressed when I tell you it’s starting to get cold here. We can have beautiful, sunny, 70 degrees Fahrenheit days (21 Celsius), like the one we recently spent on top of Table Mountain, or we can have days of cold rain that blows until you’re sure the house will fall down. Some days, snow can be seen on the peaks of the mountaintops behind our house. Most RSA homes and our church do not have central heat. That means when it gets down to 50 F (10 C) outside it’s the same temperature inside, if not worse. Needless to say, it will be awhile before we try to open our windows.
This article isn’t so much written to whine about our winter weather, as much as it is to praise the Lord for the open window we have in South Africa for ministry. Years ago the phrase 10/40 Window became popular when referring to countries that were “closed” to the gospel, including Muslim majority countries. While South Africa is far from the 10/40 Window, we’ve become more and more convinced that we have an open window of opportunity to share Christ with Muslims in South Africa, and yet most believers here are unprepared and ill equipped to do so.
That’s why this month we brought a very special and uniquely gifted couple to South Africa to host a series of Muslim training seminars. Almost 400 believers attended and were equipped with the knowledge and practical training necessary to build redemptive relationships with Muslims in their families, their workplace, and in their neighborhoods.
Our largest seminar attendance was 125 and our national partner at the host church told us that nearly every member of his congregation had someone in their family who was Muslim. The church was filled to capacity with people who wanted to make a difference for Christ in the lives of the ones they love. Some participants said they hadn’t talked to their Muslim relatives for years due the tension their religious differences created and their own lack of understanding Islam. After the training, they felt equipped to rebuild their relationships and show the love of Christ in a greater way. As Regional Administrator for Southern Africa, this is one of my goals — Helping missionaries, local pastors and churches with resources and training that will help their ministries and church planting efforts.
The Heart, Mind and Soul seminar teaches the basic doctrines of Islam and gives participants practical tools and methods to get the closed windows open! If you have a Muslim friend, co-worker, or family member and you’d like more information on effective ways to share the gospel, please contact www.abwe.org/serve/muslim-ministries.
Nancy and I personally want to say thank you to this amazing couple and their supporters that so sacrificially gave of themselves to make this ministry available and powerfully effective. Only eternity will show the fruit of their efforts. And even though we can’t share their personal details in this blog post, we’d ask that you continue to pray for them as they travel the world sharing this amazing seminar, in places that are “closed” and in places like ours…and like yours, where the window of opportunity is wide open to reach Muslims with the gospel of Christ!