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Changing Hearts Through Humble Service

Afghan girl with a children’s Bible

John Weaver, an American Christian who has worked in Afghanistan, recently talked with Todd Nettleton at about his time serving in Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is a big country,” John said. “It is the size of Texas, and there is no Christian church there at all…zero, absolutely zero….But there are people there that are hungry [for the truth].”

Some Afghans are turning to Christ, but there is often a price to pay for becoming a Christian in Afghanistan. Sometimes new believers are imprisoned for their faith.

John told the story of two Afghan Christian brothers who were put in prison because of their faith. Members of the Taliban were in the same prison.

[The Taliban is a group of radical Muslims in Afghanistan. Taliban means “students” in Arabic. Members of the group think that women should not go to school, and men should grow beards. They do not like TV, music, games, or some sports. Taliban radicals believe in harsh punishment for Muslims who become Christians.]

The Christian brothers began sharing their faith with the people in the prison. John said, “One of the Taliban soldiers had his legs blown off from the war. [One of the Christians] would pick him up and take him every day to use the little latrine, which was not a nice place. The Christian told us, ‘God was with us every day. It began to soften the hearts of these ruthless Taliban guys. They saw we were in prison but we had done nothing wrong — we were followers of Jesus. And here we were serving the ones who would love to kill us.’”

To Talk About
The Taliban soldiers’ hearts began to change after someone humbly served them. Read Luke 22:26-27. What did Jesus say about serving others?

You may not be able to show kindness to someone in Afghanistan, but you can practice serving others humbly at home or at school. What act of service can you do today?

(Source: Edited from the original for length and clarity.)

Church in a Car

A church van

Brother Jay, a VOM International Ministries worker, took a trip for The Voice of the Martyrs to Central Asia. Todd Nettleton of interviewed Brother Jay after his trip. Read part of their interview below.

Jay: Thankfully there are Muslims coming to Christ every day. Most of them gather in small groups in houses.

Todd: When you talk about “small groups,” we are talking about two or three people. In some cases, that is all there are.  And in some cases, that is all that it’s safe to gather.

Jay: Exactly. You might find a couple of men sitting in a park and have no idea what they are doing. But they are there fellowshiping in the name of the Lord.

They might be in a car. You could be in Kabul [the capital of Afghanistan], for example, where there are thousands of vehicles. And you don’t know it, but two or three men in one car — they actually love Jesus. And they are fellowshipping with one another in His name.

They may have a little device in their radio so they can listen to Scripture, sing some songs about the Lord, and encourage one another. It is like a little mobile church.


Family Members Around the World

Afghan girl with a Bible

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10, NIV).

“Imagine if your parents sat you down and told you that you had another brother or sister that you didn’t know about,” said Jim Dau, the president of The Voice of the Martyrs. “The news could change your life. You might be happy to learn you had a brother or sister. Or you might be sad that you had missed knowing him or her.

“Many of us would like to meet our brother or sister. And we would pray for him or her as part of our family,” said Mr. Dau.

The Bible tells us that all those who believe in Jesus belong to one family. As Christians, we have family members around the world. When we learn about them, we can pray for them. We can also learn by their example to be bold in sharing our faith with others.

To Think About
Millions of people around the world are Christians. Some of them are mocked, insulted, injured, or put in prison by people who don’t like Christians.

It would be overwhelming to try to pray for all of them one at a time. But we can pray for those God brings to our attention. Can you pick one Christian from this website or in the news and pray for him or her today?

Trusting God at the Police Station

Afghanistan police
A policeman in Afghanistan

An officer of the secret police in a Muslim country sent for Pastor Zareef, a Christian preacher. Secret police usually work in countries where citizens don’t have a lot of freedoms. They secretly spy on citizens to see if anyone is doing things the government doesn’t like. Pastor Zareef knew he could end up in jail if he gave answers the officer didn’t like.

The pastor believed the Bible verse, “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist” (Luke 21:14–15). Trusting in God’s word, he went to the meeting at the policeman’s office.

At the meeting, the officer shook a pamphlet in Pastor Zareef’s face and asked, “Who wrote this?” A friend of Pastor Zareef’s had written the pamphlet to explain the truth about Jesus to Muslims. The pastor knew that his friend might get in big trouble if the police found out who wrote it.

Suddenly, Pastor Zareef began laughing! He surprised even himself!

“Why are you laughing?” the officer growled.

“Because I thought YOU were the secret police, not ME!” answered the pastor. “You are the ones who know secrets, but you are asking me who wrote it?”

“Okay,” said the officer. “I’ll let you go this time.”

After he left the office, Pastor Zareef was amazed at what happened. He had not planned beforehand what he would say, yet God helped him speak.

Praise God for His faithfulness!

Read another story about God helping a Christian speak.

Seeking Jesus

Muslim mother and child in Afghanistan

A Christian in Afghanistan kept getting phone calls, day and night, from the same person. The caller asked to meet the Christian in person, and he asked for copies of the New Testament.

The Christian was cautious. Most of the people in Afghanistan are Muslims. Sometimes Christians are attacked and persecuted. The Christian knew that the calls could be a trap.

The Christian prayed about the situation and decided to meet the caller. He said goodbye to his family and took a friend with him in the car. When he reached the meeting place, he told his friend, “If you don’t hear from me in 10 minutes, drive the car and all of you get out of the city immediately.”

But the caller was so happy to see the Christian and to get the New Testaments! He had spent a lot of time and energy trying to find out more about Jesus and to locate Christians he could talk to!

During Ramadan (June 18 through July 17)
Pray for Muslims who are seeking to understand more about Jesus. Pray that doors will open for them to find the truth about Christ.

(Source: 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World)

Read more about Ramadan here.