When Tariq* heard about a refugee family in his Middle Eastern town that needed emergency home repairs, he borrowed a van and volunteered his help. He asked for donations to purchase cement.
And he invited his overseas Christian friends (SIM workers) to help him with something he couldn’t accomplish on his own.
Ask, seek, knock
Tariq seems to have an innate understanding of what Jesus shared in Matthew 7:7,
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
But his newfound faith has not come easily.
Tariq was married with three children, but when he became a Christian, his wife’s family demanded that she divorce him. He then married another Muslim-background believer, but until his former wife remarries as well, Tariq is committed to providing for her, their three children, and his new family. His wages as a taxi driver in the city barely cover support for both families.
And yet, he can often be found freely giving help to those who need it.
Working together to share the gospel
Once, he added a door to a bathroom so a refugee widow and her teenage children could have privacy. Another time, he added a banister to a rickety stairway in an upstairs apartment where children often fell.
Tariq shows up and takes care of the manual labor. And he brings his foreign SIM friends along to visit with the families while he works. Then, at the end of the project, he asks his friends to explain why they would give up their time to help these refugee families in need.
Tariq translates—effectively saying what he wants to say, but can’t say for himself, about the love of Jesus.
“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.”
PSALM 10:17-18 (NLT)
Tia received counseling for the deep trauma she’d experienced and resumed her studies. She learned to tell her story without shame and with great courage. Courage that took her to court.
It isn’t easy for Tariq to share openly about his faith. As a Christian in a Muslim community, he faces constant threats. So he does what he can do.
He puts the gospel into action, working on behalf of those in need. And then, he opens a door for his SIM friends to do what he cannot: to share the gospel in words.
Bravely, Tariq is leading a life of faith in a hard place. It’s a life that is defined by asking, seeking, knocking, and doing.
Please join us in prayer:
- Pray for Tariq and his SIM friends as they share the gospel in word and deed with his Muslim community in the Middle East.
- Pray for Muslims who have become Christians and face daily persecution as a result of their newfound faith.
- Pray for our SIM workers in hard places around the world as they share the love of Jesus on behalf of those who cannot speak freely, like Tariq.
*Names and photos may have been changed for the sake of privacy and safety of our workers, ministry partners and those we serve.