Friday, April 26, 2013

Reaching Muslim Boys

“Now glory to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” Ephesians 3:20

This blog is intended for Christian women but today I would like to share about a ministry for guys. Have you ever wondered how you could reach Muslim boys and youth? For Nick(pseudonym) it all started with befriending a Somali single mom’s family which includes a handful of rambunctious boys who were initially at high risk to join a gang. Nick decided to start a sports club for such boys. It would not be a drop-in program. The big question was where to have it. He really wanted it to be a Christian based sports club with opportunity for Muslim boys to hear about the Bible. Nick decided to ask a church with a gym if it would be available. What a surprise Nick received when the pastor and elders agreed!

One evening a week Nick and his volunteer guys pick up boys aged 9-12 years old. Another evening of the week they pick up 13-18 years old youth. Their parents come from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea, Oromo areas, and Nepal. The Somali boys Nick had initially befriended invited their buddies. Many of these boys go to the mosque for Qur’an teaching on the weekends. He took permission forms over to each home and explained to the parents about the sports club. He spends time befriending these parents, gaining their trust. The first thing Nick had the boys do was to decide the club rules and expectations: Respect God, Respect Leaders, Respect Each Other, Respect Property.

The sports clubs have a time of playing basketball or soccer and then they listen to a God-talk for about 15 minutes, followed by a snack. Power points from and on-line videos from have been effective. Once a Christian rapper performed for them and shared his story of salvation. Another time a young fellow gave a talk about God’s design for sexuality.

In the summers the boys are eager to attend Bible camps. Nick is able to send them to camps geared primarily for non-churched kids. What has amazed Nick is that they will be given permission by parents to go even when it is Ramadan. Not all the boys submit to camp rules and some have had to be taken home but the majority do abide by the rules. After Bible camps Nick spends time reinforcing the songs and truths taught those weeks.

It is not easy to run the sports clubs. Tremendous patience, perseverance, hope, and love are needed. It is helpful if volunteers have had cross-cultural experience. The sports clubs have run for three years now and Nick has witnessed the boys gradually learning to listen, abide by rules, and gain more Biblical knowledge. He never imagined years earlier that Muslim boys would be willing to go to a club held in a church gym or go to Bible camp. God has done more than Nick could ever have dared to ask or hope for.

Dear heavenly Father, raise up more Christian based sports clubs for Muslim boys. In Jesus’ name, Amen.