City overview over Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia with Kingdom tower and financial district after sunset.
Oliver* lived in one of the countries on the Arabian Peninsula where it was forbidden to convert Muslims to Christianity. Giving them a Bible was certainly illegal. He could end up being deported, or imprisoned. But the danger didn’t stop Oliver from spreading Gods’ word. He had to share it, even if it cost him his life.
In the dead of the night, Oliver would drive into Muslim villages and walk the streets–placing bibles on the doorstep of every home. Four months later, he saw the fruit of his work.
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11
Oliver had been praying for the people in the village every day. He had come back to see the will of God at work and to find out how God had used the Bibles he had secretly delivered. He walked into a teahouse and ordered a drink amidst a group of local men. “You are not from here, are you?” The bar man said in Arabic. Oliver was quick to admit that he was a foreigner.
The next question was always the same, “So, are you a Muslim?”
“I’m a Christian,” Oliver replied.
One of the other men in the teahouse said, “A Christian, you say? Can you explain something about the Bible?”
The man shared that a few months ago he found a Bible on his doorstep and that he had been reading it ever since. But he didn’t understand all of it. “I don’t have a Bible with me,” Oliver said, “but if you would be so kind as to fetch your copy, I’ll be happy to study it with you.”
The man ran home to fetch his bible and quickly returned. Other villagers joined the conversation as Oliver led them in their first Bible study ever. There was nothing illegal about helping a Muslim read a book he already owned. “Please, your Arabic is much better. It’s better if you read.” It was the first time in their lives that those men, in an isolated area of the Arabian Peninsula, read the Gospel out loud.
How A Half-Burned Bible Changed A Man’s Life
The Bibles Oliver distributed however were not always received with gratitude. “One man told me he had only found half a book, and he was asking me questions about the other half.” Oliver didn’t understand what he meant, until the man showed him a half-burned bible that he’d found smouldering in the trash. “The remaining half of the Gospel was so inspiring to the man that he had been searching for someone who could explain it to him, to share with him the full story.”
The next time Oliver brought the man a full, unburned Bible. “We have met him from time to time to discuss the gospel, and gradually he grew more and more in the faith. A few weeks ago he was baptised. Praise God!” he said.
God is building his Kingdom
On the Arabian Peninsula, new Christians from a Muslim background struggle to find acceptance in their local church. Often their faith is kept a secret, even from their own families. Oliver has been able to minister to many of these new believers. Over the last few years he even baptised some of them in secret. The now have the opportunity to grow in discipleship and to stay connected to the worldwide Body of Christ.
Even in the heart if Islam, God is building his Kingdom. Open Doors supports Oliver, providing him with more Bibles, and prayer and discipleship materials to help reach new believers.
*Name changed for security purposes.