Sharmila is a young woman and a mother of two children. But she is deeply unhappy.
Like other women in her country, she wears the hijab, a veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of her immediate family. However, the hijab did not stop other men from seeking her affections. And, it didn’t stop her from betraying her husband.
Sharmila hated herself for what she had done, but knew that if she asked for help she would be persecuted by her friends and family. Then she remembered the radio station that she enjoyed listening to, and decided to get in touch with them to ask what she should do to repent.
That’s how Sharmila got in touch with Reach Beyond’s ministry partner in a Middle Eastern country.
She sent a WhatsApp message and had a long conversation online with one of the stations’ workers who told her about the source of sin and its reasons. They also told her about a God who forgives sinners and offers them a way out of the situation.
Sharmila felt a sense of peace and got in touch with the worker again after a few days. During this conversation, the worker told her that in order to stop her sinful behaviour, Sharmila had to let God into her life; that He would change her nature, enabling her to stop what she had been doing.
To help Sharmila better understand God’s nature, the worker sent her the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman caught in adultery. The story showed how Jesus dealt with the woman without condemning her, even though all the people were ready to persecute her. They told Sharmila that Jesus did not come to condemn her, but to rescue and save her.
A few days later, when Sharmila got in touch with the worker again, they asked her, “do you believe in what Jesus did on the cross?”, and she replied “yes”. After praying together, Sharmila gave her life to Christ.
This is a glimpse of how mission and evangelism happens in places hostile to the gospel. Our Reach Beyond workers and mission partners are responding to questions and having conversations with people like Sharmila every day, all year round.
They plant seeds of the gospel, and then water them with God’s word and prayer to help them grow.
Please remember Sharmila in your prayers this week. Pray that our new sister in Christ will experience God’s protection, and that He will give her boldness and wisdom to share her faith with those around her.