The Bible is a dangerous book. In some places around the world, being found with a Bible could get you arrested, imprisoned or even killed. But we know, the Bible is more than just a book. It’s God breathed. It lives. The words in it’s pages speak truth, love and hope to us today. And for many Christians, the cost of being found with a copy is worth it.
Oliver is no different. He lives in a muslim country in the Arabian peninsula. He knows the Bible can bring life, so he’s desperate to share it. But he does this in secret… leaving Bibles on the doorsteps of people’s homes.
This is a dangerous mission. Oliver lives in one of the countries on the Arabian Peninsula where it is strictly forbidden to try to convert Muslims to Christianity. Distributing Bibles among them would most certainly qualify as illegal and might end up with him being deported or even imprisoned.
But that doesn’t stop Oliver. He’s seen too many miracles and changed lives when people begin to read the Bible to cause him to stop. He will often drive to a remote village in the middle of the night – a village he’s never been to before. Then, he will simply, quickly and quietly, put a Bible on the doorstep of each house. That’s it. As he drives away, he prays.
Often, after a few months he will return to the village. He’s been praying for the Bible’s he left and the people that found them everyday since. He stops for a tea in a local cafe. People recognise that he isn’t from their village, they also recognise he’s a foreigner. They ask him if he’s a Muslim. He replies he’s a Christian… and this is where things get interesting.
All of a sudden, another man joins the conversation. He begins asking him questions about a Bible he found on his doorstep. Oliver encourages the man to go get his Bible and says he’ll look through it with him. The man runs home to fetch his bible and quickly returns. Other villagers join the conversation as Oliver leads them in their first Bible study ever. While Oliver opens the Bible, he feels relieved; his strategy has worked. There’s nothing illegal about helping a Muslim read a book he already owns. After choosing a reading from the gospel of John, he quickly passes the book to one of them. “Please, your Arabic is much better. It’s better if you read.” For the first time in their lives these men read the Gospel out loud.
Within an hour, there is an atmosphere in which the men openly explain to him why they think the Koran is right, and he is able to share about the teachings and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. “Did Jesus really arise from the dead?” One of them asks. He is clearly startled, since the Koran explicitly teaches that God doesn’t have a son. “Yes, He really did,” Oliver replies.
When Oliver leaves the village at the end of the day, he has a bunch of friends. In a few weeks he will return to the village and visit these Muslim men and wait for God to open new doors to share the gospel with them.
Oliver is full of stories about the Bible leading Arab Muslims to Christ, these events often combined with dreams and visions. “Just by reading the Gospel, Muslims find Jesus.”
Over the last few years he has baptized some of them, all in secret. On the Arabian Peninsula these believers cannot join an existing church, and often even their family members don’t know they follow Christ because they might harm them for that. But ministered to by faithful believers like Oliver, they have the opportunity to grow in discipleship and to stay connected to the worldwide Body of Christ.
Whenever he can, Oliver connects them and helps them form small groups, literally living out Jesus’ words in Matthew 18: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
In deep secret, hidden in the villages of the heartland of Islam, God is building his Kingdom among these new believers. Open Doors supports Oliver with prayers, bibles and discipleship materials to support these new groups.
* Name changed for security reasons
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.