Updated: May 22
Looking at the Muslim woman in the boat with them, Dimas* told his friend, “Let’s throw her out of the boat. Nobody will see us because, at the moment, it is only us and her.”
It may come as a surprise to you, but Dimas is a pastor and a professor at a Bible school in Indonesia. Once you hear what he and his family endured, you may understand why he wanted to feed the Muslim woman to the sea.
It is difficult for us to understand what minority Christian groups in Muslim majority nations face on a daily basis. In 1999, a war broke out with the Muslims in Dimas’ region. In July 2000, Dimas and other members of his community were literally defending their village. During this confrontation, the Muslims burned his village, including his own home, to the ground. They lost everything and daily survival became the primary focus. Dimas did not realize how animosity and bitterness toward Muslims had grown in his heart. Even now, 18 years later, the memories and bitterness in his heart were still fresh. In preparation for a Jonah Initiative training, he was asked to translate the PowerPoint slides and other materials for the class. As he was translating the material, the Holy Spirit began to touch his heart with a love towards Muslims. Dimas knew it was time to forgive and he declared:
God did something in me and I became aware that this is God’s time for me. He touched me so that the way that I see Muslim people is changed. Yes, I am thankful for the Jonah Initiative and I am thankful I did not throw that Muslim woman to the sea. God wants her and God has a time for her.
Most of us have never lived through the trauma Dimas experienced at the hands of Muslims and yet many Christians in America struggle with a similar anger toward Muslims. We must remember that these physical attacks are motivated by Satan, who seeks only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). We are thankful for the army of intercessors who intercede for the salvation of Muslims every Friday through the Jumaa Prayer Fellowship. Prayer is making a difference, whether in the lives of pastors like Dimas or in seeing Muslims come to faith in Christ.
It is thrilling to see the Holy Spirit drawing Muslim people to Christ as well as infusing the hearts of Christians with a love for Muslims and a desire to share the gospel with them. God is moving in new and unique ways among Muslims, but the task is far from over!