Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Precious Muslim Children

“Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.” Mark 10:16

Amira was grieving the loss of her brother. Her playful fun loving ten year old niece, Suraya, was spending time with her bringing a measure of comfort and distraction. After listening to Amira’s sorrow I suggested we take her grief to God in prayer. Suraya overhearing our chat said, “I wish I knew how to pray. I don’t know how to.” I motioned for her to come and sit next to me on the couch and listen to me talk to God. What a privilege to take children into the presence of God.

I hear many stories of Christians in the West taking Muslim children and youth to clubs and youth groups at church, sending them to Bible camps, helping them with homework, ESL or literacy, and running sports clubs for them. Christian movies, books, Bibles and songs are being passed around to children. It is the time to invest in the lives of Muslim children and youth. Although not all Muslim parents allow their children to attend church clubs and Bible camps there are some who do. My husband runs three sports clubs in churches for Muslim boys aged 9-16 years old. They come predominantly from Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and the Oromo area of Ethiopia. Many of these boys are fatherless and are at high risk of joining gangs. Each week they play basketball in the church gym and have a God talk time and snacks. In the summer they attend Bible camps, even during Ramadan.

Fear of Muslims still runs high in our Western nations. But babies, children and youth have a way of breaking through our fears. They can be so adorable, inquisitive, loveable, responsive, and full of life and energy. Many of them are a step removed from the conservative Islamic environments their parents grew up in. The children go to school or play with children from other cultures now. Parents appreciate their children being given attention, help and love. Often when we love and help a child there is an open door into the home. 

When I was growing up in Somalia it was risky to minister openly to Muslim children. There were no clubs or Sunday School in the house church I went to. I never saw a Somali child in church. In God’s sovereignty He has orchestrated the migration of millions of children to Western nations where they can be exposed to the Good News at a young age. I have been in Muslim ministry for thirty three years now. If I could do everything over I’d spend more time with the children.

Dear heavenly Father, bless each Christian who is investing in a Muslim child’s life. Let there be lasting fruit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.