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The picturesque villages scattered across the plains of Western Asia, in view of the majestic mountains beyond, look sun-bathed and peaceful. But with a less than 0.04% evangelical presence in this region, most of its residents are embedded in Islam. They are a people walking in darkness. But in one of these villages, a believing couple seeks to be a light for Christ.
In one village, Feriha* runs a children’s club and enjoys teaching the kids Bible stories and songs and helping them put on programs for special events. All of the children she works with are from Muslim families and thus do not know Jesus. Feriha knows that God’s Word has the power to change hearts, so she has the kids memorize Scripture passages for their special events. Since many of them cannot read, their mothers help them memorize the passages—committing them to memory themselves.
With the holidays approaching, Feriha has decided to host a Christmas program. The fact that her village is allowing this is itself a miracle, as Christmas goes directly against some of its core beliefs. In preparation, Feriha wrote out verses on the birth of Christ for the children to memorize.
One morning as she was going to the market, Feriha passed the village mosque, and a little boy ran out. He gripped his paper with Feriha’s handwriting swirling across it and excitedly announced that he had memorized almost all of it. He waved the crumpled sheet toward her. Feriha smiled. Then he dashed back into the mosque and told the other children that Feriha was there.
Soon she was surrounded by a chattering group of kids holding up their papers and talking over each other, declaring that they had memorized their verses. They began reciting them to her there in the street.
Feriha glanced toward the door as two Imams came out. They stood silently by the doorway and watched her interact with the kids. She lowered her eyes, pretending to be engrossed in the children’s excitement. The men said nothing and soon went back inside. Shouting and laughing, the kids raced each other back into the building. With a trembling hand, Feriha adjusted her head covering. Though shaken, she couldn’t help but smile. God’s Word was being proclaimed in the streets by the joyful voices of children, and not only that, but carried back into the mosque as well.
Throughout the week, when Feriha walked through the village, the kids ran up to recite their verses to her, their faces lit with joy. Feriha marveled that the gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth were being planted into the hearts and homes of her village. And even though the children had to go to their village’s mosque daily for instruction, they were inside memorizing God’s Word.
Pray for these children, their families, and the religious leaders of this village. Pray that God’s Word will impact their hearts and that this village will come to faith in Christ. Pray that Feriha and her husband will be kept safe and that they will continue to be the “living Word” in the lives of their fellow villagers.
*Names changed for security reasons.