Traditionally, Islam has firmly resisted the claims of the Christian Gospel. Apart from Indonesia, converts throughout the Muslim world are found only in small numbers. The church and the missionary community have been programmed to accept the “inevitability” of meager results from an investment of time and money in Muslim evangelism.

All too frequently the following scenario is typical of a convert’s pilgrimage. Halim Ali is a young man of nineteen dissatisfied with life on the farm. He lives in a small bamboo hut with an extended family of parents, five brothers and sisters, two grandparents, one uncle, and two widowed aunts. Halim’s assigned task is to stand on a wooden plow behind a sickly ox and work the family plot throughout the long hot summer days.

One evening a tall, white-faced man briefly stops by Halim’s home and leaves a packet of Christian tracts. The local teacher is brought in to read this literature to the illiterate Ali family. Interest is sparked in Halim’s impressionable young mind, so he walks five miles to the town where the mission compound is located. There he is overawed by the sight of a large clinic, industrial training center, experimental farm, elementary school, and two beautiful homes (by relative standards) in which the missionaries reside.

Halim shares his desire to become a Christian with local believers. Food and shelter are provided while he undertakes a thorough catechism, which leads him to accept Christ as his Saviour. Soon thereafter he returns to his home and family where he proudly announces to all that he has become a Christian. Reaction is immediate and severe. Halim is regarded as a traitor to family, friends, country, and religion. The options ...

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