Each morning around 5:00 a.m., the call to prayer erupts from the mosque behind our house. In his raspy voice, the muezzin calls out over the loudspeaker, admonishing faithful Muslims to wake up and pray.
During our first months in the country, the muezzin’s voice—hoarse with sleep and peppered with static noise—startled my wife and me out of deep sleep. We weren’t too thrilled to have this as the intro to our daily soundtrack. Now we’re used to it. Most mornings, we sleep right through the call to prayer.
One day while strolling through our neighborhood, I met the muezzin. His name is Amir, and he’s a large, round-faced, cheery fellow who immediately invited me to his home. He and his wife and children live next to the mosque, and he serves as its volunteer caretaker and key-holder. We’ve since become fast friends. I’m pleased to know the man behind the gravelly voice of the early morning prayer calls.
Recently, Amir offered to be my part-time language helper. We meet around 7:00 a.m., after he’s finished his morning prayers. That gives us about an hour and a half to dive into language study before I go and start my workday.
Language learning is essential for sharing the Gospel. Going deep into the local language and culture paves the way for my teammates and me to understand the people around us—and impact them for the Kingdom.
We’ve come here with a Gospel message that is clear and powerful. To those who believe, it is the power of God for salvation, piercing through the deepest sleep of spiritual deception. It broadcasts clearly, cutting through the static of distorted views inherited from spiritual ancestors. The message of the Gospel points to the cross of Jesus Christ. It’s the good news of God’s love and grace—a message my Muslim neighbors so desperately need.
And so I’ll keep digging deeper into the language and culture with my raspy-voiced friend. I pray that one day, Amir’s will be the voice that proclaims with clarity and power that Jesus is God with us.
May he broadcast a new call to prayer, beckoning all the people in his community to pray and worship Christ our Lord and Savior.