Monday, June 10, 2013


Mary’s declaration: “…For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation will call me blessed.” Luke 1:48

Safia excitedly told me that she had won the election for president of her 5th grade class. Eighteen out of the twenty-two students ran for the election. Safia is the only Muslim girl in her school and wears a hijab. I thought it was pretty amazing she won. I baked some chocolate chip cookies for her and gave her a “You Are Special” helium balloon to celebrate the election. I have discovered that girls like Safia love balloons. She seems much more mature than her 11 years. Maybe it’s because she has been trained by her single mom to always serve and clean not only in her home but in her grandma’s home, too.

 Fatima amused me by her determination to be a singer on a competition idol show. I couldn’t imagine a hijab clad girl singing on such a program in the West. She was more than happy to croon away for me in front of her mother who is still learning English. Thirteen year old Fatima is trying to make sense of living in her two worlds of east and west. She seems like a typical teenager collecting memorabilia of heart throb celebrities. She pulled out a tattered scrap book of bits and pieces of photos and papers from under the sofa to show me where all she had been. It’s these kinds of engagement where I learn how Muslim adolescent girls live in the West.

Amal and Jamila and I sat in their bedroom chatting about life – typical girl talk. Away from the men in the living room they removed their scarves. Painting their fingernails and trying on jewelry and checking messages and their photos on their iPhone all seemed pretty normal but our conversation clearly revealed they were living in a controlled Islamic setting. We talked about some of their fears. One girl got her purse and began showing me the contents of it. She pulled out a little card someone had given her in a mall. There was a beautiful Bible verse on it.

 Amina is a beautiful thirteen year old Somali girl who loves sports and is active as a peer leader in her school. She used to email me frequently until her parents forbid her to. We had interesting talks about God. I gave her a copy of my book which she treasured. I wonder what her future holds. She could go far. She is bright and obviously has leadership skills but her mother who never went to school lives with different aspirations for her daughter.

I love being with Muslim girls aged 11-18 years. They seem so responsive to attention. They work hard at home and at school. If I could do everything all over in ministry I would spend more time with girls this age. Ladies, if you are investing your time in the lives of young Muslim girls be assured that is a very valuable investment and will bear spiritual fruit one day. Keep loving them! They are special.

Dear heavenly Father, please draw young Muslim girls to Jesus, the Savior. Amen.