I published a post a few weeks ago telling the story of a young girl who saw a vision of Jesus while she was trapped in a sex-trafficking brothel in India.
The post said in part:
… taken as she was walking to school when she was around 7 and put in a brothel. She suffered terrible things which I will not go into here. She was confined in a tiny room and forced to have sex with many men each day. Her life was mostly that room and her tormentors. She had never heard of Jesus Christ in her young life.
She was alone in the room at one point, and she said that she saw a spot of glowing light in front of her. Then, she saw a man in the light who told her “I am Jesus and I will take care of you.” She did not know who this Jesus was, but she did understand that she was in the presence of God. In the face of every objective criteria to the contrary she believed Him when He said “I will take care of you.” Through a series of incredible events, she ended up here in Oklahoma, free from her captors, and living a new life.
When she talks about this experience, her face glows. Her life, even more than her words, are a testimony to the redemptive power of God’s love. She is going to school, and plans to be a missionary to the trafficked girls in her native India. (Read more here.)
Several readers told me that Jesus is coming to Muslims in visions all over the world. I did a small bit of on-line searching and found numerous links to stories of Muslims who have been converted by a personal visit from Our Lord.
I think many of these stories are true. When a person who says that Jesus has come to him or her, converts and then is willing to face prison, torture and death rather than recant, I accept that at the very least, they believe what they are saying is true.
People will lie for attention, for money, for a competitive or social advantage. Some people even lie for recreation. People will certainly lie to avoid torture and death. But very few people will stand up to imprisonment, torture and death to defend one of their lies. This willingness to die for Christ has been one of His strongest witnesses for 2,000 years.
I’m going to chose one article out of the many I found, primarily because I found it in an August 24 issue of Christianity Today, which is a reliable publication. The article says in part:
… Tom Doyle has spent the last 11 years working as a missionary in the Middle East. He was initially skeptical about reports that God was speaking to Muslims in supernatural ways.
But his mindset changed when his friend told him: “God showed me that my theology does not determine his action.”
He’s made dozens of trips out to the region as director of e3 Partners’ work there, and heard many stories from Muslims about how they came to faith as a result of seeing Jesus in a dreams or vision…
…In one amazing story, a Muslim kidnaps a Christian in Cairo, one of the most dangerous places in the world to spread the Gospel, and takes him at gunpoint to an abandoned warehouse. Inside, he meets a group of 10 imams, who tell him they have been having dreams about Jesus and ask him to teach them about the Bible.
Dreams and visions have become common among Muslims in the Middle East who have embraced the Christian faith. Doyle says the dreams open the door for Muslims to hear about Jesus in countries where spreading the Gospel is forbidden.
While the West associates Islam with terrorism, Doyle believes the majority of Muslims are peace-loving.
“I believe Islamic terrorism is Satan’s attempt to keep the Gospel message away from Muslims,” he writes.
But Tom knows that even Satan can’t stop the Gospel from spreading.
“More Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus today than ever before,” Doyle writes. “In fact, we believe more Muslims have become followers of Jesus in the last ten years than in the last 14 centuries of Islam.” (Read the rest here.)
The article runs parallel to discussions about the New Evangelization which took place at the Synod in Rome this past week. I am a strong supporter of the New Evangelization. These miracles serve to remind us that all evangelization of any era must begin with prayer and hearts that are yielded to the Holy Spirit.
God is not just the object of our desire. He is also the source of our strength and the guide for our actions. We have been timid for a long time about evangelizing anybody, particularly in areas of the world where such work is greeted with violence. I think it’s interesting that these places are the precise ones where Jesus is taking things into His own hands and beginning the work for us.
In this Year of Faith we would do well to remember that nothing we do is of or for ourselves. We the instruments of His grace in this fallen world, and the doorway to that grace is prayer and a humble heart.
Have a blessed Sunday.