B.A.S.I.C. Newsletter #55
BASIC Newsletter No. 55
August 2, 2005
I Cor. 16:9 For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
In our series on Islam and witnessing to Muslims Pastor Kingomella has sent his report on Tanzania. Now we have a part of an essay from Pastor Jyothi at Nidubrolu, India.. This which follows is part of his essay for our English Pastoral Conference at Chennai in September. The whole essay is being sent to our overseas brethren by regular mail. Our Indian pastors will receive it at the conference. Anyone who wants a copy over the internet can contact Pastor Jyothi directly at Jyothibenjamin [at] yahoo [dot] com. God bless our efforts to reach out to Muslims with the loving message of the Savior slain for their sins and raised for their justification.
WITNESSING TO MUSLIMS
An Essay for the fifth Joint English India Pastoral Conference of the Church of the Lutheran confession of India and Bharat Evangelical Lutheran Church at Chennai, dated September 2005.
(Presented by Pastor Jyothi Benjamin – CLCI Nidubrolu – 522124, South India.)
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and Only Son, that whoever believes in him Shall not Perish but have Eternal Life. (John 3:16).”
Her name is Shaik Assanbi a 40-year-old Muslim woman who works as a tailor. She lives in Muslimpet, Nidubrolu. With the result of our CLCI evangelists outreach, on Sunday October 14th 2001, Assanbi along with her entire family took Baptism at Nidubrolu CLCI congregation. Her entire family received Christian faith and converted to Christians.
Dear friends, before I proceed to this article “Witnessing to Muslims”, I would like to bring the testimony of this woman in front of you.
Assanbi who belongs to Nidubrolu is married to alcoholic addict, Shaik Beg and have four children. She said she had many personal problems with her husband and she had been experience maltreatment from him. She had been always underfeeding for in all form. She has been suffering a lot with the family problems. Many nights she has no sleep because of weeping and praying to Allah but there was no use. She has no peace of mind through all her life. Assanbi narrated her experience in her testimony during Sunday service thus: – “One day, sometimes in April 2001, I have been weeping in my work time. I confided all my problems to a CLCI Sunday school teacher who happens to be one of my customers. She told me that she should come to our CLCI church so that she could have some peae of mind. I refuted it. But later I have decided to go visit once and listened to the sermon Preached by Pastor Benjamin on the Zailor who saved through Paul. That Word of God shocked me, and it keeps on ringing in my heart and it hunted me. The word of God moved me and I organized myself to embrace Christianity, which I did successfully without my husband and relations’ knowledge.
When my family heard about my conversion, they were not pleased. It was bad news for my relations, friends, church members, husband and a host of others with whom I worship at the Mosque. My husband thought that I was crazy. He went ahead as he had threatened to pack all my belongings in the house and through me from the house. After one week he allowed me to stay in the backyard. He forsook me.”
Assanbi told that she was traumatized as a result of her decision to convert to Christian. She recounted further- “It all began with my relatives quarreling with me. They warned that I was going the dangerous way. When all verbal effort to change my mind failed, enemies resorted to witchcraft and other satanic tricks. At one time, I became seriously sick. My stomach was swollen like that of a pregnant woman. In fact when I was taken to the hospital, doctors could not diagnose my illness. Instead, I was told that it was not a hospital matter.
“Later I came to our CLCI church and told Pastor Benjamin about my sickness. He prayed for me ten minutes and gave me a New Testament and told me to read it. While reading it, some drowsiness occupied my mind and throughout that night, I was vomiting. My family members couldn1t do anything for me because they thought that it is useless to do anything for me. But my husband gave me drinking water and permitted me to read the Bible because he thought that it was my last night. I felt very sick on that night but I keep on reading the New Testament and keep on doing prayer. When morning came, I felt strong and healthy! It was a wonderful experience.”
According to Assanlbi, her husband and her family members including relatives were surprised that her protruded stomach had become normal. She continued her narration: “After some period of time, another traumatic experience started. In my dreams, I began to see some people, who gathered around my husband with blood in their mouth. I told my husband about these dreams. Surprisingly he told me that he has been suffering with the same type of dreams for so long time. He felt very fear about this and agreed to visit our CLCI pastor Benjamin and started hearing the Word of God. The Word of God also moved him. This time around, with kind help of our Pastor Benjamin and some fellow Christian brothers and sisters in prayers joined me. That was how I overcame the problem. My husband felt very peaceful and happy and he quit drinking alcohol and the Word of God made him to believe in Savior Jesus.”
Her entire family took baptism on 14th October 2001. Assanbi told with tears that “My family members told me that I had brought shame to them by converting to a Christian family. They persuaded me to reconvert my family to Islam. They applied a lot of tactics. They even gave us physical attacks, but I was rather angered I told them that if they know the Lord Jesus very well, they will agree with me that Christians are a peace loving people.”
As far as Assanbi?s family is concerned, her conversion to Christianity was a manifestation of divine call. As expected, Assanbi?s family received a lot of assistance from our Church Christian brothers and sisters. We are very pleased to inform you with the influence of that family, including their son-in-law’s family, many more families have converted to Christianity at Nidubrolu. I believe it is gradual. Some day, all their relatives also will become Christians.
Assanbi, who is firm in her decision and actions further told that she used to lock her door in the night for fear of physical attack from enemies. Now she is no longer afraid of them for she knows that the heaven is open for those who die in the pursuit of the Word of the Lord Jesus. Assanbi closes her testimony with these words. “I must tell you however, that when my son-in-law converted, I received serious warning from some people who told me that they were aware that my conversion would influence a lot of people. With the same way with the help of our CLCI evangelists, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, we have seen with our own eyes that many Muslim families have converted to Christians. At first I was one. Now with the influence of Holy Spirit many more families are added. Today I am no longer a Muslim no longer alone, so why should they be aggrieved at that.”
With the result of this now more Muslim families have been now trusting in Christ. Praise God for His great Love.
We are happy to inform you that, many more Muslim families have been baptizing with their children who have now been disowned by their community and joined in our Nidubrolu CLCI congregation. These people have come forward to say they need Jesus to be their Lord, King, Savior of their lives. We thank Him for making it possible for our CLCI Church to be part of bringing this gospel of true Word to the many Hindu and Muslim people also like this wonderful way. Now they have believed firmly that their hope, love, forgiveness of sins and salvation to all through is Jesus Christ only. In the same manner, there are many conversions and baptisms have been progressing through out our CLCI congregations. It is our prayer and request that you continue to pray for us to work hard and to preach Christ to these Hindu and Muslim souls, who are walking in the outer darkness. Even though it is very hard work, we are sure and confident that your prayers will enable us to add more to the list of Muslim people who are ready to receive Christ in their lives…………………………………….
Dear friends, before I close this article, I would like to bring a testimony of one my Bible correspondence course students. He just wanted to share his view and experience regarding Islam with me through his letter. “My name is Kareem. I was born in a Muslim family but I was adopted and raised in a Hindu family. Then my name became Krishna. I found it was unacceptable to worship so many gods and idols and then I started studying Koran, Vedas and Bible and other books to learn the truth. I did this from a neutral perspective. I found the truth in One True God in the Bible. No matter whether I am a Muslim or Hindu, now I found my salvation through the Savior Jesus Christ. What I wanted to say is, just to put it in a single line. If Christianity is right, Islam is wrong; if Christianity is wrong, Islam is still wrong because Islam says Christianity is right. I still love my Muslim brothers but it rather simple truth that The Word of Allah cannot be changed by anyone. I believe that the Koran never brought one accusation about the corruption in the Bible. If we are worshipping the same one God then the Bible is right. And let me tell you a personal fact- in my time of learning the Bible correspondence course, I haven’t even seen a single logical contradiction in the Holy Bible though many people wrote it across 2000 years. I don’t want to talk about Koran at all because as Koran says Truth will speak for itself and if you open heartedly search for it by being on neutral ground as I did and I found it in the Bible only. ”
Truth stands clear out in darkness.
THE ONE GOD IS, WAS AND WILL BE.
Like this the CLCI has a long history of mission work among the Muslims through the years. Pastor M. Devadas and Pastor V.S.Benjamin preached Christ to the Muslims in since 1980’s and thanks to their efforts many Muslim families were converted and baptized. Missions among the Muslim peoples of Guntur Medak district areas have been no less fruitful. The CLCI still remains involved in evangelizing the Muslim peoples. In addition to Guntur district there are active CLCI mission activity in the Muslim regions of Medak district, while in many CLCI congregations there are many of underground Muslim Christians. Many of them converted from Islam, and as far as evangelists are concerned there are several faithful who converted to Christians from Islam. In the CLCI, besides Hindus, overall there are still many conversions of Muslims from Islam to Christianity.
The Cross will surely prove dominant, the crescent surely wanes.
Thank you all.