Southeast Asian Country Poised for Huge Advance into Muslim Communities
It’s difficult for most Western Christians to grasp when they hear news like what you’re about to read. That’s because how we ‘do church’ in the west is different than in many other cultures. In one southeast Asian country that includes many Muslim communities, the kingdom of God is spreading like it does in the book of Acts.
And next year, iBAM will be partnering with leaders within a network of former Muslims who want to reach their friends, neighbors, and co-workers for Christ.
A little while back, iBAM supporters like you gave to help launch this project, and then covid happened and sort of scuttled many of the plans that were in the works. But now, things have changed – including the plans.
Read on to see what God is about to do in this southeast Asian country.
What’s Happening Now?
In this particular southeast Asian nation, the gospel has been spreading across many Muslim communities. In the last 15 years or so, twelve large networks of former Muslims, who have connected with iBAM, have swelled to over 600,000 people. They are now sending missionaries and other laborers into three bordering countries to unreached people groups, and want to expand their efforts with help from iBAM.
Including other networks beyond these twelve, there are over 900,000 Christians who used to be followers of Islam in this particular nation.
How Can So Many Get Saved So Quickly?
Again, for many westerners it can be hard to fathom how so many people could get saved so fast. Here in the US, it takes years to build up a church, and even seeing a few hundred people get saved is cause for massive celebration (and as the Bible teaches, angels rejoice over just one).
So how can nearly a million people – especially former Muslims – be getting saved so quickly?
The difference is in the nature of church and in the surrounding culture. The word spreads house to house, village by village, and town by town. It is not building-centric, but based on discipleship. In the west, converting to such a model would be very challenging simply because of our individualized, car-based, door-locking, I’m-watching-TV, Amazon Ring, stay-out-of-my yard society. Everyone here is “busy.” Busy watching streaming and wasting time on social media.
But in countries like this one in Southeast Asia, life happens differently, and so does the spread of the gospel.
Another reason is simply because much of the Christian message has saturated the US for so long. Many people think they know the basic principles. They don’t, of course. But they think they do and have often already made up their minds about Jesus, the Bible, and Christians.
In other countries, people are starving for the truth, because the emptiness, fear, and lack of love in a works-based religion like Islam can drain the joy out of daily life.
So, when their own formerly Muslim friends, as well as business owners in the community, start sharing a message of forgiveness and grace through repentance, it’s like water in the desert.
Another reason for this growth is the use of the Discovery Bible approach to sharing the gospel and teaching the word. This has proven to be a very effective tool, and not just in this particular southeast Asian country.
What Is iBAM Doing for These Muslim Communities?
iBAM founder Steve Adams traveled to this Southeast Asian country in October and met with leaders of these twelve networks of former Muslims who now follow Jesus.
Some of these places have few resources. Sustaining the growth of the gospel is often not limited by people, but by being able to fund their work and keep their families from having to move all the time to make a living. The church in this nation needs to be self-sufficient, financially.
iBAM’s model of raising up entrepreneurs who can start businesses in their communities, and use those to fund and spread the gospel through discipleship, is exactly what these network leaders need.
And, with a business that can also employ other Christians, more Christians and families don’t have to keep moving to find work.
These local leaders have sought us out and asked us to teach and train their existing and new converts in how to start and run businesses. None of these leaders have business development skills or experience, but they can easily envision how such a practical approach to missions will solidify their growth and facilitate continued expansion.
In short, what will iBAM be doing? Three things – send, teach, and train.
1) Send our trainers into these communities and identify Christians from these networks who want to start businesses.
2) Teach them how to start and run businesses, and empower them to get theirs off and running.
3) Train them how to train up more business-starters among their own people. This way, not only will the gospel be spreading, but so will the business-as-mission approach to supporting that expansion as it happens.
As local Christians continue to reach into new Muslim communities, they will bring the gospel. They will also bring business startup trainers who will show new Christians how to start businesses.
It is a ‘train the trainer’ model.
This approach allows for new footholds to get established in newly reached communities much faster.
The other great thing about this approach is that it doesn’t require iBAM trainers to do all the training. The growth of these networks of formerly Muslim Christians will not be dependent on us. If it were, that would greatly slow down the process, because we only have so many trainers.
But by training local leaders to train new Christian entrepreneurs, it can spread exponentially.
We light the fire, but God will cause the growth, and it will not be limited by iBAM’s capacity.
Take Part in Spreading the Gospel in the Muslim World
Another great thing about iBAM’s approach is that, for how many millions of people will be reached (YES – millions), the cost is relatively small. We don’t need tens of millions of dollars to make this happen.
But some finances are required to send our trainers and missionaries, help communicate and facilitate business trainings and discipleship instruction, and prepare materials and technology that enable all this to happen.
Will you partner with us in sharing and spreading the gospel to millions of future former Muslims in this southeast Asian nation and beyond?
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