This weekend, I attended a Muslim Outreach Workshop hosted by iHOPE Ministries. There was so much good information I had to share, but as I sat down to write, I realized there was so much info I couldn’t fit it all in one blog post. Here’s Part I, and Part II will come your way soon!
I heard something crazy this weekend.
I was extremely blessed to go to a Muslim Outreach Workshop, hosted by iHOPE Ministries. iHOPE was founded by Renod Benajji, who was born in the Middle East and became a Christian at an early age. He was persecuted for his faith when he was younger and actually grew up hating Muslims. As the Lord worked on his heart (in his words: “Sanctification sucks.”), he came to love Muslims and now runs the ministry, which equips and mobilizes churches to share the Gospel with Muslims.
The workshop focused on reaching Muslims in your day to day life—at your college, across the street, at the grocery store. It focused mostly on Muslims from the Middle East, but the principles given seemed to apply to any background.
Renod gave some background to Islam. The most interesting part to me was the comparison of Islam to Old Testament Judaism. Think of all the worst pictures the Old Testament could paint of God if you forget all the good and take them at face value—angry, merciless, wrathful, destroyer. That’s Allah to many Muslims.
The workshop opened with a little of Renod’s story, then we moved into stats regarding Muslims in the world. We learned there are 1.64 billion Muslims in the world. That’s crazy, the second largest religion. But then we heard something crazier: 1.4 billion of them have never even heard the Gospel. That means 85% of people who believe in Allah’s judgement and wrath and earning his favor through good deeds have never even heard there is a God who loves them, who gives them rest, who cares for them.
Those numbers flashed on the screen and I immediately saw the picture of Islamic extremists beheading Christians. Then the words flashed over the mental image: THEY’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD.
I think of the women covered head to toe, seeing the world through narrow slit.
I think of the men praying to a god who is full of wrath, empty of grace.
I think of the college students searching for meaning and purpose.
I think of little boys growing up do anything to please Allah.
They’ve never even heard, and if things don’t change, believers, if we don’t change, they probably never will.
“How can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?”
iHOPE is doing some really cool things to equip the church to reach Muslims. Check out more about their ministry here, and if you’re in the DFW area, I highly recommend checking out this workshop.