The caption on the email said, “They Broke the Mosque.” When I opened it, I found pictures of the interior and exterior of a small Mosque that was apparently being torn down by a bunch of happy looking people.
Confused; I called for more information. “How did this happen? What’s going on?”, I asked.
The brief explanation they gave was amazing. A whole Muslim village, including the local Imam, got saved. In a matter of a few days, everyone in the town had accepted JESUS. Great joy and zeal for the Lord spread like wildfire. They spontaneously decided to destroy their local Mosque in celebration. And….destroy it they did. It was a simple, masonry building and they leveled it with hand tools. Wow!
That first email came a little over 3 years ago, but this story is still unfolding. It’s taking place right now in a Muslim country and I’ve been to the village where the Mosque was torn down to verify the details. This will be a short Glory Story, but it could change your view of the spread of Christianity, vs. the spread of Islam around the world.
Some years ago, a young Muslim man named Sidikie became a Christian. He later became the pastor of a church in his nation’s Capitol city. Together with several other pastors, he started a Discipleship Training Program (DTP) to raise up Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Missionaries and church planters. Young men and women would come to the DTP for 10 months of intensive training, then be sent out to serve the Lord. Many of these students were also former Muslims. Along with Pastor Sidikie and others, I serve on the DTP’s parent ministry board.
Two young men, named Serrey and Morlai came to the DTP for training. Morlai came from a nominal Roman Catholic background, and had an encounter with JESUS in 1996. Pastor Sidikie met him in 2006 and brought him into a deeper relationship with Christ, then recruited him for the DTP later that year. Morlai led Serrey to the Lord. Serrey came from a Muslim background and a region known as an Islamic Stronghold. With Morlai’s encouragement, he attended the DTP in 2009. They both studied hard, and completed the DTP program, becoming close friends.
After graduation, they served apprenticeships as Associate Pastors in several churches. Burning with a passion to return home and preach the Gospel to Muslims, Serrey asked Morlai to team-up with him. After an extended time of prayer, both felt led to become evangelists and church planters in the Muslim Stronghold area. They approached the DTP leadership and asked for permission to return to Serrey’s home village to preach the Gospel.
This was a very serious undertaking, because no church existed in that devout Islamic area. Ministering in an area like this, both young men could find themselves in constant danger and even the possibility of death. The leadership prayerfully considered their request and felt it was from the Lord. They laid hands on them, giving them a ministry charge and imparting the Holy Spirit, then provided transportation back to their home area in late 2011.
The two young men immediately began to share the Gospel and pray for the sick in the homes of their family and friends. The Holy Spirit came down in power as they testified about the mercy and salvation found only in JESUS Christ. Souls were saved, demons were cast out and the sick were healed. (Mark 16:15-18) The crowds quickly outgrew the houses, and they began to meet under trees. Within a short time, THE ENTIRE VILLAGE POPULATION, consisting of those who previously considered themselves Muslims, received JESUS as their Lord and Savior. Two new evangelists, with 10 months of DTP training, led an entire Muslim village to JESUS. Praise God!
The once thriving Mosque was completely vacated, because there was not one remaining Muslim in the town! The local people, including their former Imam, decided the Mosque building was now a useless reminder of their previous bondage. Apparently, the young preachers didn’t initiate the destruction, and I’m not clear on who suggested it, but the entire town came to the Mosque and tore it down. Within a few days of these events, the young preachers notified their superiors at the Discipleship Training Program and they sent me that first e-mail captioned, “They Broke the Mosque.”
In the weeks that followed this mass conversion, they notified me of their plans to build a future church on the foundation of the old Mosque. I suggested that might unnecessarily inflame the remaining Muslims in the surrounding towns and villages when the word got out. There was no reason to deliberately insult them. It could also make them more resistant to the Gospel. So, they located another property and secured it for the future church. I later visited the site and they completed the construction of that first church building in early 2013.
In the few years that have passed, similar conversions from Islam to Christianity have taken place in 10 of the surrounding towns and villages, led by these same two young preachers. They went where the Gospel had never penetrated, freeing thousands from their demonic bondage. Thank God for these two heroes of the faith, Pastor Morlai and Pastor Serrey. (These are their actual common first names.)
Since the first church was built in the Mosque town, three more have been built in different adjacent towns. Six more villages, led to Christ by the same two young pastors, now have their own Pastors. Each has groups of converts meeting outdoors, waiting for funding to build their own churches. With God’s help, these will be built soon and the Gospel will continue to spread like wildfire.
Sadly, after leading Pastor Serrey to Christ and co-laboring for 4 years in ministering to Muslims, young Pastor Morlai died in February of this year. The area where he served was remote, dirty and dangerous. He chose to give his life ministering to Muslims, serving the Lord by reaching the lost. Pastor Morlai’s name may never be well known among Christians on earth, but JESUS knew his name and welcomed him when he entered Heaven. Pastor Serrey and his new wife continue to oversee the work,along with an expanding number of new young pastors.
This current example of a whole community, then an entire region coming to Christ, is exciting news. The Holy Spirit used two willing men to change the eternal destiny of thousands. This is a genuine MOVE OF GOD and let’s pray that it continues. But, this is just a small part of what God is doing.
Some of us think of Muslims as our enemies, but our real enemy is the same devil that binds them. U.S. Muslims are not walking around with a bomb in their pocket, yet we often treat them as if they are. Most are living in the United States as frightened outcasts. They are lost sinners, trapped in a demonic religion, in need of a Savior. Please pray for God to save them.
Pray for the Lord to give you a Muslim friend or someone involved in another religion today. We are surrounded by lost people. Love them and earn the right to share your faith. JESUS has called us to share His love and set the captives free. We have the Gospel and the power of Holy Spirit living in us. We’re not interested in “converting” people from one Christian Denomination to another. With God’s help, we are reaching out to the lost. Please join us in reaching this generation for JESUS Christ. If we don’t do this, who will? And if not now, when?
Endnotes: This instance of an entire local Muslim population coming to Christ may be happening more often than most realize. I’ve also read stories about JESUS personally appearing to isolated pockets of Muslims in dreams and visions. That being said, individual conversions are much more common. Most will stay lost unless we reach out to them and share our faith.
Muslim converts often face special challenges. They generally fall under 2 broad categories, Muslim Background Believers and Muslim Believers. “Muslim Background Believers,” are those who choose to leave their Muslim cultural identity and often their Muslim community and family as well. Muslim communities often see MBB family members as lost to them, resulting in increased community resolve not to let others be exposed to the message of Christ. “Muslim Believers,” is a term increasingly used for Muslims coming to Christ, who choose to remain in their birth communities and retain their birth identity. Their transformed lives and ongoing witness to their families has proved to be quite effective in many instances, in some cases leading others to Jesus. (Special Note: Information on “Muslim Background Believers” and “Muslim Believers” quoted directly from information provided by Eugen Krahn, President of Transforming Nations.)
The secular media tells us that Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion. Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, President of Christ for All Nations, tells a different story. “Statisticians on religion, gauge the growth of Islam, by the number of natural births to Muslim parents. Christianity measures growth only by the new birth in Christ, not natural birth. In terms of those receiving the new birth found in Christ, Christianity is gaining converts at a much higher rate than Islam.”
My own limited experience lines up with what Daniel Kolenda shared. Christianity is the world’s fastest growing religion, currently spreading like wildfire. Ministries like Transforming Nations, Christ for All Nations, The Back to Jerusalem Movement and others, are penetrating every “Closed Country” and Muslim stronghold on the planet. Others like Alpha Ministries, Living Bread, Love-N-Care, and Churches for the Nation are planting and building churches and where no church previously existed. Please join with me in praying for and supporting these fine ministries.