New Mexico Baptist Convention Ministers To Muslim Community

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Church News

By PJ

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Baptist New Mexican) — Most Muslims come from a culture where socializing together is very important. They love spending time with friends and family, and enjoy being together. When most Muslims come to the United States, their social lives change drastically. There are many factors that contribute to this:

They have just moved to a new country. They are usually away from their family and friend structure. They are often learning a new language, and it is difficult to communicate. The U.S. lifestyle is very different; people don’t just “drop by” and visit together.

Because of this, the major complaint of many Muslim immigrants in the U.S. is that they are very bored and very lonely. They long to have friends to talk with and share with. Many become depressed after they arrive in what they felt would be “the promised land.”

The goal of the Muslim ministry team is to build relationships with Muslims here in New Mexico. By becoming their friends and sharing in their lives, we gain the right to talk with them about spiritual things. The team seeks out Muslims throughout the state and engages with them socially. By helping them with English and inviting them to come to “American” activities—such as holidays, celebrations and even just fun pastimes like bowling, skating, hiking or picnics—we are able to build friendships with the people and then have opportunities to share with them.

Anna* came to New Mexico two years ago from a country in Central Asia. She and her husband travel each week around the state, and she had never had the opportunity to settle in, make friends and improve in English. She was very lonely and depressed. A member of the Muslim ministry team befriended Anna and began helping her practice English. While they were doing this, they also were able to go on outings, visit a school and also a church here in the state. It was through these times together that a friendship was built and the team member has been able to have several deep spiritual conversations with Anna about Christianity and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Tammy* is from the Middle East and is the wife of a student at a university here in the state. She was very lonely, didn’t know English and wanted some company. A team member from the Muslim ministry was able to work with her on English and spent time with her each week. From that, they were able to talk about spiritual matters. Tammy is expecting a child soon, and the Muslim team hopes to try and have a baby shower for her.

On holidays, the Muslim ministry team is able to reach out to Muslims here. They are able to invite people over to share in Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions. For many Muslims, this is the first time they have experienced these holidays. While they are able to enjoy good food and company, the team is also able to share the reason we celebrate these holidays, and gospel seeds are planted.

Please pray for the more than 6,000 Muslims living here in New Mexico. Pray that as they come to a new land, they would have opportunities to meet Christian people and build friendships with them. Pray that they will have opportunities to hear the gospel message.

Pray for Anna and Tammy, pray that they would be drawn to Christ and God would continue speaking in their lives.

Pray for the Muslim ministries team. Pray they would have opportunities to meet Muslims throughout the state, share with them as friends and also be able to share spiritual truths with them.

The Muslim ministry team would like to sincerely thank New Mexico Baptists for their generous support of the Mission New Mexico Offering. It is because of this offering that the team is able to continue to reach out to Muslims around the state with friendship and the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

* Names changed.

This article appeared in the Baptist New Mexican, newsjournal of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico (bcnm.com). PJ is the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s missionary to Muslims in New Mexico.

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