Arab World Ministry

New Muslim-Background Believer's Conversion Follows Common Pattern

A new Pakistani believer in England is in jail following accusations by his estranged wife.  The Pioneer who shared Christ with him says that the new Christian has followed a very familiar pattern for Muslim-background believers.  This man heard the Gospel first when he was 17, but did not believe until he was 45, and then he immediately faced a significant trial.  The Pioneer says he's seen this pattern over and over: an initial gospel presentation followed by decades of unbelief, then when belief takes root, hardship or persecution immediately follow.  Pioneers in Europe say this cycle is a manifestation of the spiritual battle taking place for the hearts of Muslim-background immigrants across the continent. 

  • Pray for the seeds of the Gospel to take root and for new believers to persevere in the face of trials in their new faith. 
  • Praise God for prison ministry—the Pioneer spends hours each week discipling his friend behind bars.

Trusting the Lord to Open Hearts in Madrid

“I love God and I love the people.  So what can I do?” 

I marveled at Sarah’s faithfulness.  She has been a Pioneer in Madrid for five years and served in North Africa for 20 years prior to that.  When I asked her about the spiritual fruit of her labors, she only had a few converts to report for her decades of work.  When I asked her if she gets discouraged she said, “Yes, sometimes.  It’s lonely work, but God called me to it.  And He has to provide the fruit.” 

After leaving North Africa during a recent expulsion of Christian missionaries, she arrived in Spain in the midst of their Great Recession.  She immediately saw the needs of the North African immigrants and refugees and she moved in amongst them to provide relief and to shine the light of Christ.  While she baptized seven women in her bathtub in North Africa, she has yet to see someone come to Christ in Madrid.

Sarah attends a local Spanish church, but is the only one in her community with a vision for sharing Christ with the local Arabs.  She has had teammates at times, but is currently serving alone, as she often has over the years.  Because she is fluent in Arabic and knows North Africa well, she has had no trouble forming friendships amongst the women.  They are drawn to her kindness, generosity, and cultural familiarity—things not readily extended to them by the Spanish community.  

North African Arabs are kept an arm’s length away from Spanish society.  Because they are not integrated into the local culture, their identities as North African Arabs grows stronger as they reside in Europe.  As they draw into themselves, they form neighborhood enclaves where they have their own shops, their own butchers, their own mosque.  Those who were nominal Muslims back in Africa grow stronger in their religious identity when they get to Spain.  ISIS finds fertile ground from which to recruit, as young men especially feel rejected and then themselves reject Spanish culture. 

Sarah knows the Arab ladies love to gather for parties, so she hosts them often.  She serves tea, provides food, and makes space for moments of levity and enjoyment.  She is diligent in sharing Christ’s love and says that the women are usually very open to conversations about God and the Bible.  Next week she’ll be hosting about 50 ladies for tea and to watch a movie about Christianity.  The film was made by Arabs for Arabs and explains the Gospel message.  Sarah regularly reaches out to the immigrant children, as well, hosting holiday parties and events for the kids. 

While Sarah has had much success forming friendships and even sharing Christ and praying with and studying the Bible with Arabs in Madrid, she has yet to see one surrender to the Lord.  She says that they stick around for awhile, but then she suspects they are persuaded away by the Muslim community.  “It’s a close community,” she says, “they all see where each other goes and what they are doing.” 

Sarah dreams of opening a community center for the Arab immigrants—a place they can go to learn to sew, to learn to read, where kids can get help with homework, where newcomers can gather for refreshment and to hear about the love of Christ.  Pray that God would provide humble and hardworking teammates for this work in Madrid—teammates who, like Sarah, love God and love the people. 

Coffee with Mohammed: One North African's Faith Journey in France

“I used to go to the mosque all the time.  I said all the prayers, but they are nonsense.  The guys don’t know what they are doing.  I said the prayers but my heart wasn’t in it,” Mohammed—Momo for short—told a Pioneer over coffee in France a couple weeks ago.

Momo attends a French language class taught by a Pioneer in France.  A Kabyle Algerian (the same as Augustine), Momo attends the class with students from Pakistan, Tunisia, Egypt, Arminia, Angola, and Sudan.  Like some of the others, Momo cannot read or write French, but he can speak it.  Like the others, he never finished high school.  Some in his class have only received a fourth or fifth grade education in their home country.  

The Pioneer finds that teaching French to newcomers is a ministry of bridge building.  Though French is not his native language, he has been in the country for a couple decades and knows that if his students can learn to speak, read, and write French they will have greater opportunities to work and navigate their new community.  He seeks to not only impart the French language, but to befriend his students, encouraging them as they adapt to new surroundings.   

Momo texted his French teacher on New Year’s Day and they met for coffee.  When asked if he reads the Koran, Momo responded, “I hate the Koran.”  Momo went on to explain that, from his perspective, the Arab Muslims in his city impose Islam on the other Arabs.  He called them “Fundamentalist” and “dangerous.”

“When I left the mosque they harassed me,” Momo said to the Pioneer, “but now they don’t mess with me anymore.  They know not to.”  Momo shared that he is actually a Christian now.  He heard about the faith on YouTube.  He has a Bible and when he has questions about what he reads, he uses Google to find the answers.  

The Pioneer hopes to grow in his friendship with Momo.  He wants to not only help him with French, but to begin discipling him, provide him with solid teaching and apologetics, and even help Momo see the importance of sharing his faith with other Muslims.  The Pioneer laments that it can be hard to find teachable hearts amongst those like Momo.  After years of ministering to Arabs and North Africans, he says that the men especially tend to be very independent, they don’t like authority, and when they become believers they pursue autonomy because they have a disdain for those who remain in Islam.  The heart’s desire of this Pioneer is to shepherd his friend, see spiritual growth in him, and—Lord willing—see him share his faith with his own people group residing in France. 

Momo and this Pioneer are not unique—their scenario is duplicated all over France and throughout Europe.  Many Muslims are like Momo was—their hearts are not in Islam.  And many who have come to Christ struggle with pursuing and receiving community in Christ.  

Pray for both Muslims and missionaries in Europe: 

  • That Muslims would awaken to the Truth of Jesus Christ (John 14:6)
  • That former Muslims who are now in Christ would be tender towards discipleship (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)
  • For this Pioneer worker and Momo—that they would start reading the Word together and that Momo would receive encouragement and instruction from his older brother in the faith (Colossians 1:28)
  • That Momo and others like him would be burdened for the other Arabs and North Africans in their city and they would preach Christ to their fellow countrymen (Acts 1:8)
  • That older Muslim-background believers would take on the role of discipler, evangelist, and pastor (Ephesians 4:11-12)


  • For more workers in the field—there are countless others like Momo in Europe (Matthew 9:38)
  • That Christians around the globe would answer the call to be bridge builders in France and beyond (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • That missionaries would persevere in their calling to learn French and Arab to reach across cultural and linguistic barriers with the Gospel (Philippians 4:13)
  • That missionaries would have the long view of their work and be empowered by the Spirit in the daily, difficult struggles on the mission field (Colossians 1:11-12)
  • That the Pioneer in this story—and others like him—would “not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9)

Christmas Terror in Berlin Reminds us of Our Present Opportunity in World Missions

The Berlin truck attack last week was a poignant and symbolic tragedy: a Muslim attack on a Christian (Christmas) setting; death at the scene of rejoicing in Christ’s birth; violence invading a peaceful celebration.  It was horrifying proof of what Europeans fear most when they consider hosting refugees.  Now that the suspect is dead, Berlin is closing down their Christmas markets, and the world grieves, here are some important things to know and pray about before we Christians move on. 

The attacker, Annis Amri, embodies the great debate currently facing Europe: to welcome refugees or to close borders and protect the citizenry.  Beyond the important, secular, political debate, Christians can agree that the current refugee crisis in Europe is a unique and unprecedented opportunity for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.  

Amri was a 24 year old Tunisian asylum seeker and was in fact identified as a security risk by the German government.  Amri left Tunisia in 2011, spent time in Italy (including four years in jail for robbery and arson), and was supposed to be deported to Tunisia.  Instead, he went to Germany where he was closely watched after seeking asylum under a false identity.  As recently as July of this year he was detained and would have been deported, but Tunisia did not have the required paperwork prepared for him.  He was released after two days and then fell through the cracks of close surveillance.

Germany is seen as a liberal beacon in Western Europe.  Headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the country has maintained a welcoming environment for refugees, with Merkel pushing her people to differentiate between terrorists and refugees.  Between 2014 and 2015, 2.4 million people moved to Germany—a record number of immigrants.  900,000 refugees from predominantly Muslim countries moved in last year.

As a result of the record influx, Germans’ perception of the Muslim population is much greater than it actually is.  A recent study shows that the Germans generally think that Muslims make up 21% of their population, when in fact they make up about 5.5%.  

Right-wing political groups and voices are calling for closing borders and unleashing “the state on their citizens in the name of protecting their virtue”.  Political cartoons show Merkel with blood on her hands, calling Germany’s altruism reckless. 

But to unleash the state on its citizens in Germany is to evoke recent history—the surveillance of both the Nazis, as well as the East German Intelligence Agency known as Stasi.  Germans are, for obvious reasons, leery of allowing government surveillance of the people.  Merkel’s cabinet, however, approved legislation expanding their surveillance powers just last Wednesday in the aftermath of the attack.

Europe is indeed facing a unique moment in history.  The civil wars in nearby Africa and the Middle East have brought unprecedented numbers of refugees, immigrants, and Muslim background people onto the continent.  Europeans are divided as to what should be done: welcome or restrict?    

But as Christians, we know this is an open door for our generation to reach Muslim peoples as never before.  Jesus called us to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).  Well the nations have come to Europe, and especially to Germany.  The current Pioneers missionaries in Europe will tell you that through personal, everyday contact, relationships between ordinary Muslims and ordinary Christians are flowering and Muslim background refugees throughout Europe are getting acquainted with Jesus.  

Such once-in-a-generation opportunities are finite and don’t last forever.  May Christians make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15).  Currently Pioneers has two missionary families reaching Muslim immigrants in Germany.  Pray for them, pray for those they encounter, and pray and ask the Lord if you should go too.  

While It Is Day


It’s everywhere. News of violence and terrorism.  Talk of how to insulate ourselves from the refugee crisis. But we hear little of how God is working in the Arab world.

Pioneers’ Arab World Media is making a difference in the lives of Muslims. Through media—video, social media, chat rooms, articles—they share Jesus and His offer of hope and love. And God is using it to bring a fundamental shift in the lives of Arab people.

See what some of these Arab world Muslims and new Christians have written in the last few months…

How can I make a fresh start in my life and begin again? 

Thank you so very much for your care and encouragement. Now I don’t feel lonely. I have a very special family after my conversion to follow Christ. I’m not alone when I go through difficult times as a new believer in Christ. Jesus gives me peace, joy and security that I have never experienced before. Thank you again. 

I think I am totally blessed. It is the first time I have found answers to my prayers. I am isolated and living in a corrupt place. Now I have found on [your website] rich articles, answers to my questions and someone to care for me and guide me. Now I can say I can be a really good Christian because of [your website]. 

I saw the Lord Jesus Christ in a dream three months ago. He said to me: “Trust that I am He.” I asked him: “Are you Jesus?” He answered, “Yes.” 

I used to be a Muslim, but I have become a Christian. Life is very difficult for me with my family who are still Muslims. They don’t know about my faith. I can’t read the Bible in front of them or go to church. 

I’m attracted by the Christian religion. Back home I wouldn’t have the freedom to talk about this. Our society doesn’t allow it. I had a dream about Jesus. I need your help. 

I feel as if I’m a new person. Yesterday, and then again today, I remembered you in my prayers. I told my husband about you and said that you had opened my heart to see the love of Jesus for me. I feel a great sense of peace. 

I would like to become a Christian, but I would be killed if I changed my Islamic religion—although I never chose it in the first place. What should I do? Please help me or guide me to someone who can. 

The word “love” that I read in the Gospel made me think about becoming a Christian. I want to know more about God’s love, as I’m a new believer. Could you please tell me what you know about that? I am hungry to know more. 

I feel like a young child who is full of joy, jumping up and down all the time, after my salvation, I don’t know what to do! 

Would you consider giving to our While It is Day campaign? Read more here or even download the full proposal here.