When we arrived in the city where we now live, we knew of only one other Adventist residing here. It was a woman married to an indigenous Muslim. We heard about the many times she had tried to talk to her husband about Jesus and the Bible, as well as the problems this had created. Her husband was not open to learning anything about her faith.
Eventually we met her husband and began developing a friendship with him. One day the husband accepted an invitation to attend a worship service with us, but it was apparent that he was not interested in the message. We continued praying for him, however, and spending time together as friends. Eventually he became more open to us and our church group.
One day his young daughter prayed in front of him and closed the prayer by saying, “In the name of Jesus, amen.” The husband became angry and told his daughter that she was never to pray in Jesus’ name again.
His wife was very discouraged, so she pleaded with God for wisdom and patience. Later she asked her husband to read the Koran with her. She showed him every passage that mentions that Jesus is alive in heaven at the side of Allah. Then she said, “Do you see it? There is nothing wrong with our child praying in the name of Jesus.”
The man was surprised; he had never read those verses before. After a brief silence he replied, “OK, she can pray in the name of Jesus—but He is not God!” His wife was so happy. She thought to herself, That will be a whole other conversation. We will get there.
They later became acquainted with another couple like them: the wife had a Christian background, and the husband was a Muslim. They were invited to dine at the couple’s house. While there, their new friends asked them, “What is your religion?” The husband replied, “We’re Seventh-day Adventists!”
“Adventist? What is that?”
“Oh, we keep the Sabbath, so we meet every Sabbath and pray together. We also don’t eat pork.”
The Adventist wife could hardly believe that her Muslim husband had introduced himself as an Adventist.
Her husband again accepted an invitation to attend a special worship service, where attendees shared answers to prayer. The husband mentioned blessings he had received as a result of the church group’s prayers, such as his parents recovering from an illness. At the end of the service everyone, including the husband, prayed together and thanked God for His many blessings.
A few days later the couple experienced a serious financial problem. Once more the Adventist wife was surprised when her husband joined her for prayer. Since then they have been praying together every day, with the daughter closing each prayer with the words “in the name of Jesus, amen.”
Even though the husband still struggles to understand everything, he is developing a personal relationship with God and sharing his faith with others. It is awesome to watch the Holy Spirit transform his heart.
ChanMin Chung is communication coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Union (MENA). The experiences in this story were shared with him by a gospel worker in the MENA territory.