Deep conversations flourish during Ramadan
While some leave this country during the hot months, we stay for the opportunities to talk about our faith
For many people here, Ramadan is hot and difficult.
It falls in the most challenging months of the year, with temperatures in some parts of our country reaching 50 degrees celcius. These temperatures are hard to endure at the best of times, but with no food and water, it can even be fatal for some.
These are often the months when foreign workers leave the country for school holidays or to escape the heat. But we have come to realize it is worth staying. Even though the days are long, stores are closed, and there is even less for our kids to do, Ramadan provides some of the best opportunities for discussing spiritual things with our local friends.
Last year during Ramadan I would go to the market nearly every day in the evening to buy our groceries. After the normal greetings and small talk, the first question from the produce-sellers was always predictable: ‘have you been fasting?’ Most days I hadn’t, so I told them so. Responses ranged from shock through disdain to surprise. ‘Are you not a Muslim?’ ‘Oh – you’re a Christian.’ ‘Your fast is in the spring, isn’t it?’
‘Actually, we aren't required to to fast,’ I would tell many of them.
The idea of God’s undeserved grace is revolutionary in every culture. In a society where earning merit is part of your everyday conversation – especially during Ramadan – it can be scandalous. But in this special month, despite the heat, we get to talk about grace at virtually every market stall.
Progress is slow, we haven’t seen many come to faith. But we continue sowing seeds. Please pray that the true Bread of Life would reveal himself to Muslims during Ramadan this year, and that many of Jesus’ people will be bold in taking opportunities to speak of Him during this special month.