So many people have asked why I went to the Middle East. I didn’t have a dream like Paul, but I know that Islam is the biggest unreached people group in the 10/40 Window.
It is hard, from a cultural and spiritual perspective, for them to survive the indoctrination that prevents them from knowing the Son, and to avoid dangers from Islamic extremism. Definitely, this is where there are the fewest workers, and I feel I must go where there is the greatest need.
Stage 1 – Friendship
Mission in my country is not about ministry but more about ‘life evangelism’ because evangelising Muslims is not allowed. I look like a normal student, but my real identity involves sharing God’s love with others even though I sometimes feel unworthy of such a task.
To share God’s love with people I must know them – their language, their culture, and their religion – and be willing to walk beside them in their day-to-day life.
So, I’ve settled in a poor area and go to the University, public library, gym, and the local shops, instead of the nice malls and other places foreigners go.
God has brought many people into my life – people who really want to learn English, and also people who want to learn Korean because of the K-pop trend amongst the younger generation. I teach them, share Korean food, have coffee or dinner, or just hang out. Through this, I have opportunities to share my testimony when they ask me about my religion.
Stage 2 – Fellowship
The deeper friendship we have with people, the more we are able to look for the right moment to share the gospel.
A local lady opened her heart to me about her grief in a polygamous marriage. I taught her the truth about God’s will for marriage through the Word of God. She agreed with me but told me that if she becomes a Christian her husband will kill her in secret.
A Syrian lady told me how she prays five times a day and asked how Christians pray. I told her about my morning devotion and how God is answering my prayers in my daily life.
An old, sick, Palestinian lady who is lonely asked me to visit her and I encouraged her with prayer and explained to her how we pray in the name of the Lord.
People are astonished that I grew up in a Buddhist family and converted to Christianity, since their culture sees it as impossible to convert from Islam. They ask many questions. Others try to convert me to Islam. We have long discussions about the differences. Sadly, most reject him for many different reasons. I cannot change their hearts, my task is to give them opportunities to hear about Jesus. We read the Bible together, since through the Word of God, they can come to know the Saviour. Sometimes I invite them to church events.
Stage 3 – Discipleship
Amazingly, a few have come to know our Father – all Iraqi or Syrian refugees. My pastor taught and baptised one Syrian family in secret. I feel so sad about the cruel wars in this area, but I can see the door being opened to share the gospel and reach past this stronghold of the evil one. Indeed, all things are working together for good.
It is tempting to want self-satisfaction from a successful ministry, but I know what the most important thing in my life is.
It is not about what I do, but what I am like.
I do not want to be merely his servant, but his loving daughter. My eyes are fixed on him and I continually desire to know and love him more than anything else, to grow to be more like my Lord and please him in the work I am doing.
Su Young studies at university in a Middle Eastern country
Names and identities have been changed in this article.