When they found the book in her bag, they were furious.
They didn’t realize their daughter had actually been on this journey for years.
Curious about Christ
It began when she was in high school. That was when Mila* first started to question the Muslim faith her devout Muslim parents had instilled in her. It was part of her Indonesian identity. But she had doubts and felt a growing desire to know about Christianity. She was curious. She had often talked with Christian friends about spiritual things. She had been along regularly to the Christian fellowship in her school on Friday nights.
One day her friend brought her along to an event at our student centre. That was the first time I met Mila. She stood out — the only one wearing the hijab in a room full of Christian students. I asked her if she’d like to join our Bible study group. To my surprise, she agreed.
Meeting Jesus through the Bible
We began our learning with the stories of the prophets. Starting from Genesis, we read how God had sacrificed an animal to make clothes for Adam and Eve after they had sinned. We read how God provided a ram in place of Abraham sacrificing his son. We read about the sacrificial rules God gave to Moses and the Israelites. We read the story of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah), the perfect sacrifice, who fulfilled the requirements for our redemption and reconciliation.
At that point I asked her what she believed about Isa Al-Masih. She confessed that Isa is God and Saviour.
After that, Mila continued to be discipled and attend our Bible study groups.
But then one day Mila’s mother found a Christian book in her bag. Her parents were angry. They were afraid of their daughter becoming an apostate. Since that day they’ve become very protective. They don’t allow her to see her Christian friends anymore. Every day Mila must meet with the Muslim chaplain to learn Islamic doctrine again and restore her to her Muslim faith. However, Mila continues to meet and study the Bible with me on campus.
In her ID card, she’s still a Muslim. And she’s still wearing the hijab. But on the inside, she’s struggling. She knows that following Jesus means being willing to suffer persecution, but she’s afraid that this will break her relationship with her family. She’s afraid to hurt the people she loves.
My prayer is that she’d find the answer through our Bible studies and that her heart to share the gospel would grow. We’ve started praying together for her family and her friends. I’m praying that God would use her to reach those in her inner circle. This is the best strategy to reach out to Muslim people in the Indonesian context.
One of many
Mila’s story is just one of many. There are many Muslim students who have become believers even though they remain Muslims on their ID cards. And more are searching for the answer to their questions about faith.
Please pray for our country. Pray that Christian students would have a heart to befriend and guide their Muslim friends on campus to find the answer in Jesus. Pray that, as in Mila’s story, God would be working in the lives of more and more Muslim students.