Raheem had nothing particular preying on his mind. He was a successful engineer from a well-respected, traditional religious family and felt no reproach for the way he had lived his life. Yet sleep eluded him.
The darkness stole across the rippling sand dunes of the Sahara, and Raheem felt the exhaustion that comes from incessant, overbearing heat, despite struggling to sleep. He climbed slowly up the steps to the flat roof of his home where he lay down beneath a panoply of brilliant stars.
The gentle breeze on his face eventually lulled him to sleep and he began to dream. An imposing figure, dressed entirely in white, with a face far more dazzling than the stars above him, moved towards him with outstretched arms. When he awoke, Raheem could not escape that awesome impression. He wanted desperately to know what his dream might signify.
Searching for answers
Raheem began to search the internet on his phone and came across a website that seemed to speak directly to his situation. Its name was Shabibah, the website created by Arab Focus Media. Shabibah means youth in his mother-tongue language of Arabic. As he watched the programmes and read about the Gospel on the website, Raheem became convinced that the figure he had seen in his dream represented the Christ of the Bible.
He immediately wrote an email to ask for more information. Two months of intense correspondence followed before Raheem recognised his sin and his need of a Saviour. He wrote these words, “Dear Friend, I prayed this prayer last night; O Lord, thank you that you have received me as your child and have forgiven me all my sins. Help me to obey you moment by moment and to learn to live the true faith. Do you think Jesus has accepted me?”
A new creation
Raheem, which means mercy in Arabic, had himself received mercy and been accepted into God’s family. He decided to ask for a new name to be given to him, as he knew that he was a new creation in Christ. He now needs grace and wisdom to live out his Christian faith in a hostile environment.
Raheem became convinced that the figure he had seen in his dream represented the Christ of the Bible
Raheem and many more like him are the reason we have dedicated ourselves to the ministry of proclaiming the gospel through media. Fifty years ago, a North African might have been listening to a Christian message on his portable transistor radio. Today, Raheem can download the entire Bible on his mobile phone. In time, it should also be possible to link him up digitally with other believers in his locality. As well as evangelism, there is a pressing need for discipleship of new believers in the Arab world. We are currently preparing for a new television production about some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, as advocated by early church leaders from North Africa such as Augustine and Tertullian.
God willing, we will shortly move into a new media centre for outreach. We aim to build an onsite audio recording studio and editing suite. The location is ideal for filming and there are always opportunities for people to join a film crew for a shoot. We appreciate all kinds of helpers, from cooks and drivers to videographers and make-up artists!
We have faced a lot of challenges and obstacles with this project. How we treasure your prayers for us and for all those across the Arab World who seek to reflect the glory of Christ, and to shine like stars in their own generation.