78% of Muslims will never meet a Christian — but these did

children surrounding van

By Lara Hochstetler

In March, I flew to Kurdistan to work with four beautiful women who live there long-term. These women are heroes, and they deeply impacted my life.

We just “happened” to be visiting the same place Canon Andrew White was visiting. We had the honor of spending quite some time with him, listening to stories and learning much. We even had our very own Easter service with him! Andrew is a patriarch of the region and devotes his life to seeing relief and reconciliation there.

We spent a few afternoons with some beautiful Yazidi families. Yazidis are an ethnic group primarily from the Nineveh Region of Northern Iraq. Due to the current persecution and genocide, they have been forced to flee their homes. We played with their children, listened to their stories, and learned what they believe. My friends got to share the gospel with one family who then invited them to come share stories from the Bible. Previously, many Yazidis had been completely unreached and now many are hearing about Jesus for the very first time.

In a refugee camp, we served a group of Muslim ladies who have been through intense trauma. Almost all of them have lost family members in brutal, barbaric ways. We sat with them as they processed through their pain using simple art to express their internal trauma. They opened up to us and trusted us with the hardest and worst of stories. As one mama began to share her story, we felt Holy Spirit’s gentleness come into the room and every woman began to weep. It was an honor to sit and hold these mamas’ hands as they cried. That day we got to be the tangible presence of Jesus to them.

It is known that 78% of Muslims will never actually meet a Christian. Their perception of who we are comes from movies, stories and gossip. If we will not be willing to go and show this region who Jesus actually is, how will they ever know? This region is hungry for Him! Don’t believe the lie that Muslims are not open to the Gospel. It just simply is not true. The harvest is ripe and laborers are few, but praise the Lord, there are more and more people like the beautiful women who now live there long-term. They are running into the darkness and to be available for God to use there.


Lara joined WIM in 2014. She has a passion for the Middle East and desires to work with leaders to teach heritage, longevity and legacy in all realms of society. Her desire is to see Kingdom heritage and cultural transformation by meeting practical needs and empowering people to see all that God has for them. Read more on her blog, The Journey of Trust.

 

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