Reported By David Witt
News of the turmoil and government transitions from the Arab Spring dominated the media this past year. The question for us kingdom-minded Christians is: “When does the Arab Summer Harvest of souls begin?” I just returned from visiting Muslim background believers in five North African nations. I am encouraged as I felt the Holy Spirit give me some insight regarding these matters.
My first observation is how the Arab Spring is fueling the power of Fundamental Islamic sects. Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco all voted in Fundamental Muslim leaders. This transitional trend has included persecution of Christians along with conflict and violence of Muslims fighting other Muslim sects. Ali, an Algerian believer in Jesus was recently talking on the phone to Hussan, an Egyptian Christian leader and Ali asked Hussan, “How is the Arab Spring progressing in Egypt?” Hussan answered, “The Arab Spring has brought great difficulty; if Algeria has not entered into The Spring, then I suggest you stay in Winter.”
Most Muslims of the Islamic world perceive corrupt politicians of the world as the problem. The majority of Muslims hope that a more pure Islamic state will solve the problems. They have not discovered the Truth of mankind as stated in the Scripture: The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9) Islam is a strict external system and cannot deal with the spiritual depravity of the heart. Until Muslims taste the fruit of pure Islam they will continue to have a false hope that Islam is the answer to human corruption. Isaiah 19:4 refers to a season when God will turn North Africans over to the hand of a hard master. Will Muslims seek answers in Christ, as they suffer under the hand of a Fundamental Islamic state?
We are already seeing positive answers to this question. Iranians had their Fundamental Spring in 1979. Today, the biggest growth of Muslims converting to Christianity is in Iran. In the 1990s Fundamental Algerian Muslims fought against the secular Islamic state of Algeria. That civil war cost over 100,000 lives. Today Muslims in great numbers are becoming disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ in Algeria after 1000 years of no Christians.
My second observation is the greater access to information in the Islamic world. Ten years ago, most Islamic nations were run by totalitarian dictators and these nations had little to no freedom of press. Historically, no one has dared to question Islam publicly. Internet access and international language media sites, as well as satellite media stations, were underdeveloped. After the attack of September 11, 2001, and the beginning of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars, the West became more interested in the Islamic world and hired news correspondents in these regions of the world. At the same time, the internet has exploded in popularity and in access to the Islamic world. Lastly, more satellite media channels have been added. Christian programming to the Muslim world has bloomed on all these venues.Muslims now have access to information that they have never had in all of history and the “perfect” Islamic world is crumbling. While I was dining at a restaurant, I was able to dialogue with my Muslim waiter about the Bible. I shared with him that the greatest command of the Bible is to love God and love others. “This is why I have come to this nation,” I shared with him. He said, “I have seen other Christians come and help the poor and do good things for Muslims. I have not seen Muslims do this. And now Muslims are killing each other with the Arab Spring.”
Earlier that day, I was standing in the court of one of the biggest mosques on earth. As I was praying for North Africa, I heard the Lord speak to my spirit, “I will draw these people to myself.” With all this in mind, I am greatly encouraged that the opportunity for the good news of Jesus Christ in North Africa is greater now than ever. A Summer Harvest of righteousness is coming soon and the Arab Spring is preparing the crop.
Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement and gifts in partnering with us to serve the martyrs of love throughout North Africa.