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Saudi Arabia: Al Fadi

Saudi boys

(Source: VOMRadio.net)

What’s Up?
Al Fadi spoke English very well. Even though he grew up in Saudi Arabia and spoke mainly Arabic, he had no trouble understanding his teachers at the university he attended in the United States.

But some of the phrases his classmates used outside of class confused him. When someone asked, “What’s up?” he looked toward the sky to see what was up. “Sometimes you hear things like, ‘Don’t open a can of worms,’” said Al Fadi, “when I don’t even have a can in my hands. [Or they say] they want to ‘pick your brain.’”

A teacher advised Al Fadi to get to know some Americans to help him understand the language better. He signed up for a program that matched American families with international students.

Learning from Christians
Over time, Al Fadi got to know two American families, and both were Christian. Al Fadi had been raised as a Muslim. The families were kind, and they politely answered his questions about Jesus and Christianity. They didn’t get angry with Al Fadi when he tried to convince them that Islam was better than Christianity. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Al Fadi went to church with one of the families, and he learned that Christians are taught to love, forgive, and pray for their enemies. He grew in his faith in the God of the Bible, and he gave his life to Christ.

After Al Fadi became a Christian, his family rejected him. “I am nobody in their life,” Al Fadi said. But he remains strong in his faith. He even appears on TV programs, websites, and social media leading other Muslims to open their hearts to Jesus’ love.

No Accident
Al Fadi encourages Christians in the United States to pray for Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and classmates, and to interact with them. “It is not by accident if you have a neighbor who is Muslim,” said Al Fadi. “God is not scratching His head and saying, ‘Ah, man, I really shouldn’t have brought him here. I don’t know why I did that.’” Instead, God has a plan for them to hear the good news of Jesus.

To Talk About
Al Fadi said, “I understand not all of us have the boldness to share, but you know what? Always pray.”

Do you know someone who is not a Christian that you can pray for today?


Daughter’s New Faith Disturbs Mother

Sister Sahar grew up in a Muslim family in Saudi Arabia. Sadly, her dad died when she was 7. She and her mother grew very close. “She was like my mom and my dad at the same time,” Sahar said.

A few years later, Sahar came to the United States as an international student. She and her mother Skyped often to keep in touch.

Up to that time, Sahar had never seen a Bible. But she met some Christians, and one of them gave her a Bible, and another led her to the Lord. She didn’t plan to tell her mother, but her mother noticed a difference.

“We were Skyping, and she told me, ‘You look different today,’” Sahar remembered. “She said, ‘You have a light in your face. What is going on?’”

When her mother found out about her daughter’s new faith, she didn’t speak to Sahar for five months. “That was so hard, because we were so close,” Sahar said. “But I know God was with me. He gave me a vision about [my mom] coming to Christ. [He told me] ‘Just wait and see; [your family] will come to know Me one by one.’ I know I have that security in Him, and I know He loves them more than I do.”

Sister Sahar plans to reach other Middle Eastern women with the truth about Jesus through a website and Facebook page. “I believe it is going to be very effective, because women are going to watch it, and they want to know more about the hope I found in Christ,” Sahar said.

Please pray for:
*Sister Sahar
*Her mother and relatives
*Her ministry to Muslim women

To Talk About
*Why do you think Sahar’s mom stopped speaking to her after she became a Christian?
*Do you think it was hard for the American Christian to give a Bible to a Muslim from Saudi Arabia?
*How did Sahar’s mom find out she was a Christian?

Read about life for Christians in Saudi Arabia in Bold Believers in Saudi Arabia available in the Downloads section.

(Source: VOMRadio.net)

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity, length, and age appropriateness.)


Secret Christmas

What are some of your favorite things to do during the Christmas season? Do you like to:

Visit others’ houses to sing Christmas carols?
Get out of school for Christmas vacation?
Join with other Christians for a Christmas worship service?
Put lights and decorations outside your house?
Buy Christmas cards to send to friends?
Visit nativity scenes displayed in your town?

You would be breaking the law if you did those things in some Muslim countries.

Schools in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to make Christmas a school vacation day.
The Sultan of Brunei banned all public observances of Christmas.
It is illegal to sell Christmas cards in Maldives outside of areas where tourists visit.
A Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia even ruled that building a snowman is against Muslim rules. “It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun,” he said.

Some people in strict Muslim countries celebrate Christmas secretly and post photos of their secret celebrations on social media. But they are careful not to include any photos that would allow government officials to find them.

This Christmas season, thank God for your freedom to honor His Son. Pray for those who don’t enjoy the same freedom.


Mary and Jabril

Mary, an American Christian girl, met Jabril at the college she attended in the United States. Jabril came from an Arab country. He spoke English well, and he followed the same customs and wore the same kind of clothes as the American college students.

Mary once saw a photo of Jabril that was taken in his home country. In the photo he wore a long white robe. Mary thought he looked very handsome, and he also seemed polite and kind.

Mary and Jabril began seeing more of each other, and Jabril asked Mary to marry him. He told her that she could continue to practice her Christian faith after they married, even though he was a Muslim. Mary said yes to his proposal.

A Sad Surprise
Mary moved with Jabril to his Arab homeland after their wedding. As soon as they arrived, Jabril changed. He began wearing traditional clothing, and he made Mary wear a long robe. Mary had no freedom. She had to hide her Bible under her pillow and read it when no one was around.

After Mary and Jabril had children, Jabril told their oldest daughter to spy on Mary. She even had to tell her father when Mary talked on the phone and who she talked to. Mary felt trapped in a sad situation.

Saudi Arabian Rules and Honor
In Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, a person is not as important as his family or group. It is most important not to bring dishonor on one’s family. A person brings dishonor on his or her family by breaking the rules of Saudi society.

Jabril did not follow strict Muslim rules outside of his country, so Mary thought it was “safe” to marry him. Saudi and other Arab students who attend school in another country often aren’t as careful about following the rules because there is less chance of bringing dishonor on their families. When they return home, they go back to following the rules.

Thousands of Saudi students come to the United States for college. Many do things they would never do in Saudi Arabia because it would break the rules in their country.

The true story above comes from the revised Bold Believers in Saudi Arabia country book, available in the free Downloads section.


Jubniyah and Masoub

Jubniyah

A revised version of Bold Believers in Saudi Arabia is now available in the free Downloads section. The book tells stories of Christians in the region where Islam started. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) Bold Believers in Saudi Arabia also features facts about Saudi Arabian culture, history, and geography, as well as activities and recipes.

Two of the recipes are below.

Jubniyah
With a fork, stir together 2 cups of all-purpose flour and one 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature.  Dissolve one 2.5-ounce packet of yeast in ¾ cup of water. Add the dissolved yeast to the flour mixture and mix well. If the dough is too stiff, gradually add more water and mix with a fork until the dough is the consistency of pizza crust dough.

Let the mixture rise for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Roll out the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Fry the squares in about ½ inch of oil until they are light brown, turning over only once. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Cool and dip in cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, honey, syrup, or another favorite topping.

Masoub
Peel 3 or 4 ripe bananas, and mash them with a fork. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, and, if desired, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Crumble 3 or 4 slices of dry bread into tiny pieces. (You can also use pita bread or flatbread.) You should have about the same amount of bread crumbs as you do bananas. Stir the mixture well by hand.

Serve in individual portions. Top with raisins, nuts, honey, fruit, or other favorite toppings.