One of the goals of this year's giving project was to help us catch God's heart for the Muslim world. I haven't had a chance to hear your stories, so I thought I'd share what I discovered.
1. This came at an excellent time. Not only did this project launch right when Islam became a major news story, but it is ending at a point where the majority of the country has moved on to other things. ISIS is old news.* I appreciate how this project kept bringing these people, dearly loved by our Lord, to mind.
2. The global perspective was enlightening. I know that people all over the world embrace Islam. But for whatever the reasons, I still found it surprising to travel from desert regions to snowy cities. These videos didn't exactly teach me new information, but they helped me experience reality in a way I hadn't before. The globetrotting gave me faces and places to pray for.
3. The Christians we met were so encouraging. The church leaders in Turkestan, Mika and her family, Karat, the soccer coach, and others just oozed grace. These episodes were certainly my favorites, giving a glimpse into what it's like to follow Christ in these parts of the world. I pray that your generosity will help many more people have stories to share about how their lives were transformed.
4. Everyone needs grace. I once read about how recent entertainment tends to portray characters as various shades of gray, no longer giving us an iconic good guy and a bad guy wearing a black hat. This is good because it allows us to discuss with our children how people who follow Christ can do bad things and people who reject Christ can still do good things. We can see common grace, fallen humanity, and our role as image bearers of God all wrapped up in us.
So, too, here. I got to meet really hospitable, loving, and kind Muslim people. But my connection to Christ, not how morally pleasant I appear, is what matters. These videos brought me back to the human condition and the beauty of grace for me as a Christ follower and those who have yet to experience it.
What lessons did your family learn? Which episodes were your favorites?
If you've already donated, thank you so much! If not, please consider giving $30 to send a missionary to connect with 150 not yet engaged Muslims. Your donation will be matched through tonight. Give here.
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
* I wrote this a week ago and will be unavailable to edit this post until Monday. Should a major issue linked to Islam have arisen since writing, please consider, again, how influential your giving is to helping bring redemption to these war-torn peoples.