by a Pioneer in Southeast Asia
Putra* awoke in the hospital to a note tucked in his Bible, the last communication he would have with his parents…
We would rather raise dogs and pigs than call you our son.
Putra’s parents enrolled him in an Islamic school at a young age and put him through the Islamic equivalent of a seminary because they were conservative Muslims. Putra became everything his parents wanted him to be—fasting, praying, making pilgrimage to Mecca.
But during his time in university, strange things began to happen to Putra. He applied for a driver’s license, only to receive his card and find his occupation listed as “Protestant Minister”—a mistake that infuriated his father. Then Putra began to hear voices in his head while performing his prayers. They would repeat the numbers 14 and 6. He used them to play the lottery, winning $2,000. But then the numbers were accompanied with an indecipherable phrase, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And finally, he began to bleed from every orifice in his body, especially his ears, But specialists couldn’t find anything wrong with him.
One day, with uncharacteristic curiosity, he walked into a church service to listen. That morning, the pastor preached on John 14:6, the number and verse he was unable to get out of his head. When the service ended, Putra insisted that he needed to be baptized immediately.
Only a week later he survived a terrible car accident. Among his personal effects was a new Bible. When his parents found it while he lay unconscious in the hospital bed, they wrote the note, disowning him and comparing him to dogs and pigs—animals of shame and dishonor in Muslim culture. With his grief, he also began to worry about how he would pay for the hospital bill, only to find out later that his debt had been paid in full.
He did go home after being discharged, but found his parents had burned everything he owned. He would have to start again, but with his good Father on his side. He decided to move to an island with a larger Christian population. He went to book passage on a ship and realized he couldn’t afford the ticket. Noticing the ticket agent had a Christian name, Putra showed him his driver’s license.
“I am a servant of God. Is there anything you can do for me?” he asked.
The ticket agent smiled and handed him a ticket for a VIP room. But It came with a glitch. The ticketing agent announced to the other passengers that Putra would be delivering a sermon during their voyage. Putra had to confess and share his predicament. One compassionate woman took him under her wing and provided a place for him to stay on the island until he was able to get on his feet.
In much the same way, after a few years of growing in his life with Christ, God provided a way for Putra to go to seminary for training. Now he is a friend and colleague to Pioneers in Southeast Asia. Though finding Christian community was a relief, he realizes he is meant to launch back into the community he came from to give a gospel lifeline to other Muslims. Though he wants to share Jesus, he’s overwhelmed and probably a little scared.
The long-term Pioneers team is trying to figure out what it means to train, encourage and assist a team of local Christians who were formerly Muslim—including Putra—as they begin to plant churches. They are praying to start four new fellowships of local believers in the next few months. Will you join them in this prayer?
Would you invest a few minutes to pray for Muslims know Jesus? Consider joining us this Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting) to pray for Muslims to encounter Jesus.