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Two Ramadan Problems

The previous post told facts about Ramadan, the Muslim holy month when Muslim adults and older children fast from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.

Problem: When is Sunset?
Ashraf El Dakrouri, the first Egyptian explorer to go to Antarctica, is a Muslim. He wanted to fast until sunset during Ramadan, like other Muslims. But the sun never set at that time of the year in Antarctica! Muslim leaders decided that he could eat when the sun set in New Zealand.

Problem: Which Way Is Mecca?

Dr. Sheik Muszaphar Shukar, Malaysia’s first astronaut, was also the first Muslim to travel in space during Ramadan. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. But in an orbiting spaceship, the sun rises and sets many times a day. Though Muslims are not required to fast while traveling, Dr. Shukar wanted to try it. Muslims must also pray memorized prayers five times a day while facing Mecca, Saudi Arabia. But what direction should an astronaut face in space? A group of Muslim leaders made new rules for prayer and fasting in space before Dr. Shukar blasted off.

Enter “Ramadan” in the search box to find more facts and stories about Ramadan.


Malaysia: Pastor’s Whereabouts Still Unknown

Pastor Raymond Koh of Malaysia began taking his daily devotional time very seriously. “He was going for prayer walks early in the morning for like three hours,” said his wife, Susanna. “Also he was memorizing large chunks of the Bible, and he would tell me, ‘Oh, I just finished memorizing 1 Corinthians 15.’ I was thinking he was really a great example to follow.”

Perhaps Pastor Koh sensed that a time was coming when he would need great spiritual strength and a close walk with the Lord. That time came in February 2017 when three SUVs forced his car to the side of the road, removed him from the car, and kidnapped him. His family has not seen him or his car since that day.

The pastor’s family is having a difficult time dealing with not knowing where he is. “It’s been a terrifying journey,” said his daughter, Elisabeth. Her younger sister Esther and their brother Jonathan also miss their father. They believe he was kidnapped because he told others about his faith in Christ.

Security cameras filmed the kidnapping, which was carried out expertly in less than one minute. The Kohs later found out that the police had taken part in the kidnapping.

You Can Help
The Kohs would like Christians around the world to help them find out where Pastor Koh is. “Pray, pray, and pray for Raymond’s release as soon as possible,” Susanna said. “Secondly… be a voice [for Raymond] and speak out.” Click here to see how you can send a letter of encouragement to the Kohs, and a letter or email to the Malaysian embassy. Please read the suggestions about writing to government officials here.

(Sources include vomradio.net)

Photo: The Koh family before Pastor Koh disappeared. Photo credit:FB/Everybody Loves Raymond Koh


A Malaysian Treat and a Craft

Easy batik

The previous post told about Malaysia’s Independence Day. To make a Malaysian treat, try the recipe below.

Banana Fritters
Banana fritters are a popular treat in Malaysia. To make them, combine 1½ cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. In a separate container, mix 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Then mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients. If the batter is too thick, add water a little at a time until it is the thickness of pancake batter.

Heat enough oil for deep frying until hot. Slice 4 to 6 bananas lengthwise, and dip them into the batter to cover them completely. Deep fry the bananas until golden brown. Serve warm.

Easy Batik
Batik is an art practiced in Malaysia. Find easy instructions to make a batik prayer reminder here.

Learn more about Malaysia in Bold Believers in Malaysia, available in the free Downloads section.


Malaysia: Independence Day

Muslims in Malaysia

On August 31st, Malaysians celebrate the day in 1957 when their country became independent from Britain. Independence means freedom. But not all Malaysians have freedom of religion. Read the paragraph below about life for Christians in Malaysia, then name three things Christians aren’t free to do in Malaysia.

Islam, the religion of Muslims, is the official religion. All people who are part of the Malay ethnic group are considered Muslim. It is a crime for them to become Christians. The government makes rules about what Christian books and materials can say. It is illegal for Christians to try to lead Muslims to Christ, or to say anything that insults Islam.

(Source: The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide)

Christians who minister to Malaysians are asking for prayer for the following.
*The nation of Malaysia.
*The people of Malaysia to be saved.
*Freedom for Christian prisoners.

Learn more about Malaysia in Bold Believers in Malaysia, available in the free Downloads section.


Malaysia and Indonesia: Batik

Batik is a method of applying color and designs to cloth. It is an art form that has been practiced in Malaysia and Indonesia for centuries. Traditional artists use wax on the fabric as part of the process. You can use washable glue to make designs an easier way.

First, use the glue to draw pictures or designs on muslin or other light-colored fabric. Let the glue dry completely. Apply fabric paint in one or more colors where there is no glue. Wash the fabric in the washing machine to remove the glue.

To learn more about Christians in Malaysia and Indonesia, download Bold Believers in Malaysia and Bold Believers in Indonesia from the free Downloads section.