The Meaning of a Seminar on Islam

Switzerland

Every year our colleague, the publisher, evangelist, and pastor Elia Morise, conducts a seminar on Islam at Midnight Call headquarters in Switzerland. Arabic-speaking Christians come from all over the world to learn how they can make the gospel accessible to their Muslim neighbors. Some participants serve the church full time; others in their professional life, and still others attend schools and universities. Some of them also come from Islamic countries, where direct evangelism is outlawed. At the Seminar on Islam, which usually lasts one to two weeks, Elia Morise and other experienced Arabic-speaking pastors show how it is possible to be a witness for the Lord, even in difficult circumstances. At the end of the seminar, the participants complete their training through public evangelization in Stuttgart (Germany). Recently, this ministry led to the conversion of a Muslim man.

Visitors to the seminar often come from an Islamic background themselves. One of them testifies about her conversion.

Finding Jesus in Saudi Arabia!
My father was a politician in Africa. I was born there. Religion does not matter to my father. When I was five, he got a better job in Saudi Arabia. Since my mother was ill, she could not go. One of my brothers stayed with her, and my sister and I moved to Saudi Arabia with my father.

In Saudi Arabia, everything is Islamic. I followed the children into the mosque. Unfortunately, I also had to wear a headscarf. The will of a woman or a girl doesn’t matter. Children or women are not asked for their opinion there. In this Islamic environment, I grew up until I was 16 years old.

One day at school I met a girl from a Christian family. Her father had come to Saudi Arabia from another country, and had been “loaned” for a specific job. The girl invited me to go to church. I wondered where there was a church here in this country. I talked about it with my father. He laughed and said, “There is no church here.” It did not matter to him whether I went to a church or a mosque. He was only ever concerned with politics. That was the most important thing to him.

I thought that I would go with the girl into a big church, like you see in photos or on TV. But I ended up in a small underground apartment. There were several girls who met for a night of singing. I had observed that several doors had to be closed in a row so that the voices could not be heard outside. It was the first time in my life that I was allowed to participate in a nice and happy atmosphere—in a country whose religion, with its Shari’a law, always only gives orders. The girls laughed and were not afraid. It was like a completely different planet to me.

I didn’t understand what was said. And I also didn’t know the songs by heart, like the girls. But I liked the community and the atmosphere of joy. And so I went there once a month with the girl from my school. Unfortunately, I sometimes had to lie to others in my environment.

One evening, a woman read to the girls from the Bible. The words hit my heart. At that moment, I understood that their songs and their joy had a foundation. I wanted so much to have this book, but I was afraid of being caught. The girl who had originally invited me got me a New Testament, which had a green cover without a cross and thus looked like a Koran.

I often read in the New Testament, sometimes at night. The writing became like a good friend to me; I could read endlessly. Countless questions came to me. Why didn’t Muslims have peace and joy? Why was the word “must” so important to them? (Muslims must pray at a certain time, in a certain direction, with certain movements and specific words. If the one praying makes a mistake, then his prayer doesn’t count; he has to start again from the beginning.) Why can Christians pray at any time? Pray in every place? And why don’t they have to recite any memorized words?

I learned that the believer was not afraid of the God of Christianity, as others were of the god of Islam. I went to this little underground church with many questions. I got the answers from the Bible. One evening in the church assembly, God opened my heart and mind and I confessed Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Savior.

An intense struggle began. At home I was a Christian and free. My father had nothing against my reading the Bible. But beyond the door, outside the house, I had to wear a headscarf and always make sure I did not take the Bible with me. 

I grew in faith, but it remained secret. The girls at school observed that I had become different. Several times they asked me, “Why are you different?” It was like a fire in my heart. I wanted so much to say what had happened to me. But I knew that it could kill me. I begged Jesus, “I do not want to be a traitor who denies Your love.” I prayed that the Lord would grant me a way to freedom.

God heard me and opened a door for me out of this country, into Europe. Today, I can exercise my faith freely and can joyfully attend a church. I am learning a new language and serve in the Lord’s church.

I am very grateful for Midnight Call Ministry, which supported me in attending a seminar where I could deepen my faith and knowledge of the Bible in order to share this with others.

Please pray for my family.

Midnight Call - 03/2018

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