I work in a Middle East country, helping to strengthen churches so that they can be effective in a dominant Muslim context. The vision for this work began when I met Brother Andrew on a mission trip to Cyprus. I'll never forget his words that week, as he encouraged us to come alongside the Body of Christ that was suffering and at the point of death. I knew he was talking about my homeland. I knew Christians were under extreme pressure and were leaving because of persecution.
At that time I was living in England, finishing up my university studies. I had opportunities to stay there, but I sensed God leading me to go back home, though that was a dangerous decision. During the first few months I simply visited pastors throughout the country and listened to them tell me about their problems. Out of that emerged a plan to provide help for churches, beginning with training conferences for pastors. My wife, Nadira, helped me develop that plan. I thank the Lord for the strength that she provides me, and for her partnership in serving the Lord.
Through the help of Brother Andrew and many believers in the West, we have seen our work grow. We now run literacy centers, vocational centers, and host pastors conferences, conventions, prayer meetings, support safe houses for converts, and so much I cannot tell you. I have seen many Muslims come to faith in Jesus, and I am blessed by their faith and courage. To leave Islam means leaving family, friends, reputation, career . . . they truly sacrifice everything for Jesus.
Lately opposition against us has increased. I am often harassed with threatening phone calls and followed as I go about my work. Several times I've been interrogated by the secret police. I regularly receive threats against my life. But Nadira and I feel called to continue working here as long as the Lord allows. That's why I am so glad for the publication of the book Secret Believers because it will expose many Christians in the west to the pressures we face under Islam. I hope this story will motivate you to pray for me and for the church in my country. We desperately need your prayers.
In coming weeks and months, I hope to keep you informed of what is happening through a blog on this website.