The following story is written by an East-West missionary serving among Muslims in the Middle East.
Nisa grew up in a conservative Muslim family where she was required to memorize and perform prayers in Arabic. Even as a child, she struggled with why she had to memorize these prayers in a language she didn’t understand, much less pray them to a god with whom she had no connection.
Nisa didn’t understand how these words could come from her heart when she didn’t even know what she was saying.
Several years later, she met and became friends with a girl who was a follower of Jesus. They became quite close, and even though her friend didn’t share much about her faith, a seed was planted in Nisa.
Three years ago, I met Nisa. Our sons go to the same school, and we live in the same neighborhood. We started gathering our families for dinner and conversation, which led to spiritual conversations. At first, there wasn’t much interest. Then Nisa and I decided to meet for English lessons.
By the end of the first lesson, it was evident that these times together were meant for much more than learning English.
Our English lessons created an opportunity to study the Word together. As we read and she understood the love of the Father and His desire to adopt her as His child, she desired a relationship with God. Unlike the god of her upbringing, Nisa learned that He wanted to be close to her and even heard the prayers of her heart. It is in these conversations that I began to see that God had been working in her life to bring her to Himself since she was a child.
The seed that had been planted began to grow, and, after three years of prayers, one month of reading together, and countless glasses of tea, Nisa decided to follow Jesus.
In the moment she prayed, Nisa felt light around her. She asked Jesus to keep showing her the way and to help her follow Him.
Since then, life has not been easy for Nisa, especially within her home. She cannot share with her husband and despite deep desire for her son to know the truth, she must be careful in navigating these conversations. She has led a friend to follow Jesus and desires to be a seed that grows deep roots and bears much fruit. But it is a difficult time for my friend.
Please pray that Nisa would continue to seek the Father with all her heart and that He would speak to her, continue to reveal His love for her, and protect her from things that would keep her root from growing deep.
East-West's missionaries and national partners are stationed in nearly 50 countries around the world that are categorized as unreached or restricted access. For security reasons, we do not disclose their identities.