One day Gul unwrapped a piece of bread covered in a newspaper scrap. Just before she tossed the old newspaper into the trash she noticed part of an article about the Christian holiday of Easter. She started reading, becoming more and more excited. How could this be? It was unlike anything she had ever heard. But the newspaper scrap didn't have the end of the story. Disappointed, she put it down. Some days later she saw a foreign woman in the local bazaar. She thought perhaps the lady might be able to help her get the rest of the story, so she stepped up and introduced herself. The woman was friendly and offered to get her a bible in her own language.
At the same time, thousands of miles away near the Arab gulf, Gul's husband Muhammad heard the message about Isa the Messiah. Neither one of the couple knew about the other's interest in Jesus, yet miraculously, they both started seeking the truth at the same time thousands of miles apart. Muhammad learned about the Messiah coming to earth through the virgin Mary, living a perfect life according to the law of Moses, teaching his disciples his unique way of love, offering himself as the sacrificial lamb of God on the cross, being placed in a borrowed tomb and then resurrecting on the third day according to scripture. Muhammad listened carefully to the story and believed, becoming a follower of the living Messiah.
Gul continued reading her new bible. She was very cautious, living in a land where leaving Islam meant certain death. The story of Isa made perfect sense to her. She acknowledged she was a sinner and could never perform religious laws well enough to atone for her sins and make Allah happy. She struggled through the hard process of learning about how extraordinarily different Jesus of the Injil was from the one she knew vaguely from her background. This was no ordinary prophet. This was no mere man.
When Muhammad returned home, he was worried about telling Gul that he had become a believer. For some time neither knew about the other's faith. Eventually it all came out and they smiled and cried with relief to learn that Jesus had called them both to himself, saving them not only as individuals but as a couple and a family. For some years their home became a center of bible and literature distribution in the region until hostilities drove them out of their home and across the border into a neighboring country. Their children all became believers in the Messiah and though they had to start wandering like Abraham in search of a new home, they kept their faith.
Every year thousands of Muslim background believers are crossing borders and moving into areas like Turkey for example, where they are some of the first believers the local Muslims have ever met. The large numbers and vital faith of these believers, coupled with their Muslim background, makes their witness particularly effective among the other Muslim peoples of the region. For the first time in decades, if not centuries, these MBBs (Muslim background believers) are bringing light into cities and villages with no church.
Great changes are coming to Central Asia. These people need encouragement and prayer. Persecution can come to them anywhere, anytime. Muhammad lost his health insurance recently because of his son's ministry activities. They are courageous people willing to give it all for the Lord. They testify to God's faithfulness wherever they go.