From the time I was a little boy, I remember being fascinated with missionary stories. I’d find the country on a map and visualize myself going to that distant land with the Gospel. Africa, South America, Asia — all were equally enticing destinations. On-screen slide projectors introduced me to the mud huts, shacks and cardboard cities of extreme poverty, to exotic animals, tropical paradises and beautiful vistas, and most of all, to the faces of people who need Christ. In my background, however, I can’t remember many tales of missionaries to Muslim countries. Closed countries were just that, and with the response to the Gospel in more reachable lands, the prospect of outreach to Muslims wasn’t raised.
My experience is certainly not unique. It is only in the past 20 years or so that missions to Muslim-controlled nations have become the dream of Christian young people. A dream and a reality. Two American wars in Iraq and the constant Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have kept the Middle East, and its Muslim religion, at the forefront of our global vision. And many American Christians have taken it upon themselves to pray for the advance of the Gospel (not the same as the success of America, mind you) in these dark lands.
That I call Muslim-dominated lands “dark” is not a popular sentiment in today’s pluaralistic age. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about spreading the light. And Christian missionaries have laid down their lives to spread that wonderful story of Jesus throughout the ages and all over this world. Sadly, many Muslims today mistakenly think Christianity is represented by America’s policies and the evil practices she tolerates. Such is not the case. True Christians serve a Kingdom not of this world.
American Christians like me are beginning to hear of the inroads being made by the Gospel in Arabia and other such places. But what we hear is often only bits and pieces of what God is doing. For Americans in general, and Christians too, there remains a fear of Islam and a mystique to Arabia. Few are willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the gospel, and many don’t even know what missions to Muslims would even look like (here in America even, and especially over in a “closed country”).
A new book, shines a beacon on what God is doing in Arabia, and what it is like to be a missionary there. In Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of God’s Miraculous Work in the Muslim World Reema Goode (and I assume that to be a pen name) shares some of her real life stories of being an American woman ministering to Muslims alongside her family in an Arabian country. Along the way we share her joys and sorrows and come to know more clearly what it is to be ministering God’s love to Muslims in a far away land. The book is a breathtaking tale that is sure to elicit both praise and prayers to God for Him to do even more.
The book is a quick read, and the story moves along quickly. Goode shares the struggle of fitting in to a new culture, and her fear for her children. She describes the people and customs of Arabia well, and draws you into the story. Over and in all of the stories we can see God’s grace and His Spirit at work. God gives Reema and her husband just the right words to say, over and over again. Incredible opportunities to share the Gospel are commonplace, as the people of that land are curious to learn more about Christianity and life in America. Through the Eastern emphasis on community, and the sharing of one another’s lives, the people get to see what a Christian really is.
God’s miraculous power is seen too. Dramatic healings, protection in demonically charged encounters, and the beauty of conversion to Christ are all recounted. Testimony to God’s working in people’s lives prior to and apart from Christian missionaries is amazing as well. And the author insists these stories are representative of God’s work in many lands and many cities all across the Muslim world.
I couldn’t put this book down. And when I did, I was moved to pray more intently for the continued advance of the Gospel in Muslim lands. I fear that many Christians in America are more focused on the encroaches of Sharia law and Muslim suicide bombings than they are on the need these people have for Jesus Christ and the Gospel of God’s grace. May this book serve to elicit prayer rather than prejudice from God’s people.
I think the book could become a best seller and open the eyes of many Christians to the thrill of missions in general, and Muslim missions in particular. May God inspire many more Christians to follow Reema Goode and her family into Muslim lands with the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Pick up a copy of this book at Amazon.com or through Tyndale House direct. An expanded version of this review, with links to video clips and additional resources, will also be available at CrossFocusedReviews.com.