5 days ago
Thursday 11th OctoberFrom Wei in Southeast Asia - Friends in the Valley of EnemiesFrom our kitchen window, there’s a valley stretching just beyond the outskirts of the large Asian city we live in. It’s more like a village than a city, with simple houses lining dirt streets. Many of the people who live in the valley belong to a Muslim tribe called the Musuh, which in one local language means “the enemies.”For years our team has prayed for opportunities to share the gospel with people from the Musuh tribe. We’ve walked along their streets and have tried introducing ourselves to men and women there. But they are a close-knit community of people who show little interest in outsiders. Not once did we find ourselves welcomed among them.And so during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, our team decided to hold a fast of our own and to pray for open doors and opportunities to share Christ with them.As my husband Wei and I fasted we felt desperate. We were struggling with language learning. Many of our closest local friends had recently moved away and we had had little success in building new friendships. We were also home-schooling our two children, which on some days felt overwhelming.We trudged through the first two weeks of our fast. Then we had a breakthrough, brought about by an unlikely member of our household—Hedgie, our beloved pet hedgehog!Hedgehogs are native to this area. When we found him last spring, he was on the brink of death. Our children convinced us to take him home, where we began nursing him back to health. One day, our family went out to explore the city’s old fort surrounded by gardens. It was hot, and there were only a few local families there since it was the middle of Ramadan.Then, while wandering along a garden path, our children found a millipede. “A fresh meal for Hedgie!” they said excitedly, crouching down to take a closer look.We searched for a container to capture the millipede. Wei grabbed one of our near empty water bottles and took the cap off to gulp down the remaining water. Then he stopped himself, remembering that it was Ramadan. During the daytime fast, it would have been insensitive to eat or drink in front of the Muslim families around us.He quickly emptied the water into another bottle and bent down to scoop up the millipede. With Hedgie’s next meal secured, we looked up and discovered that the entire time an amused policeman had been watching our antics. He laughed as we explained that the millipede was for our pet hedgehog. His children would love having a pet hedgehog, he replied. Our children offered to bring Hedgie over to the officer’s house so his children could play with him.As we continued chatting, we learned that Taufik, the officer, belonged to the Musuh tribe and lived near us in the valley we had long been praying for. We quickly became friends. Our children play football together and we share meals in each other’s homes. Taufik’s wife, a conservative woman covered in black from head to toe, is my new language teacher. When Wei was travelling for a week, Taufik’s family looked out for me and the children. This is truly the sort of family we’ve been praying to meet.Recently Taufik invited us to a family wedding. Several hundred people from the Musuh tribe were there. They seated us in places of honour near the front of the room. And since then, it’s as if we’ve become friends with the entire tribe. Everyone now knows who we are.With these new friendships have come opportunities to sow the Word. Taufik and several others in the tribe are reading the Bible with us and are being drawn to Jesus Christ. Even Taufik’s brother, a respected Islamic leader among the Musuh, is open to the Good News. If he embraces the Saviour, others in the community will probably follow in his footsteps.• Let’s pray that the entire Musuh tribe will accept the gospel.• Pray for protection and understanding for Taufik and his friends as they study the Word. Ask that the Word will not be snatched away, but will find good soil, take root and will bear fruit.“But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:20• Let’s ask God to pour out his blessing and wisdom on Wei and his family and all Frontiers’ workers as they serve God in Southeast Asia.
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