A Global Infusion team to the Middle East has just returned and it was a powerful trip. The team was able to live and work among the Bedouins (unreached people) in the Sahara Desert. We also ministered to Sudanese refugees, widows, and new believers. We had the opportunity to teach, preach, and evangelize via live-streaming into several closed countries including Syria, Turkey, Libya, and Sudan. Ministry in a country that is over 90% Muslim looks quite different than what you would expect. In fact, living as a Christian in a Middle Eastern country is quite shocking to those of us who live in the West. Their lives are truly not their own. Once they convert or become a Christian, life at every level becomes increasingly more difficult. Family and friends reject you. Work is harder to find. And the persecution is just beginning.
(Middle) East vs. West
Majed El Shafie, a muslim from Egypt that converted to Christ says “Our world is divided into two zones. A conflict zone and a comfort zone. The more that you are a Christian in the conflict zone, the more that you are under heat, you are facing the front line, you are facing persecution, you are united. The more you are in the comfort zone, that’s United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and so on and so forth, they are selfish, un-united, divided, lazy. [They] don’t want to hear about the message of persecution. They prefer the message of prosperity and healing and salvation than the message of persecution. They don’t want to touch it. They are scared to read it. They are scared to hear about it. So they don’t know [about persecution]. They are ignorant. Not all of them, but a lot of them.”
Jesus says in John 14:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Most of us will never face the kind of persecution that Majed refers to, so we must pray. Pray that the Holy Spirit guides us with precision. How to pray. When to go. And what can we do to win this world for Jesus.