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Monday, March 03, 2008

Sh Br 37: Plans for Good

Shiite Muslims – a people God is pursuing to be Jesus’ Bride

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11, ESV

Today, dear friend of His Shiite Bride, we share a story from a follower of Jesus and her family living and loving God among Shiites.

Thirteen year old Hussein turned in circles and squealed with excitement at our visit. "Ahlan wa sahlan! Ahlan wa sahlan!" - Welcome! Welcome!

Hussein's mother, Fatima, looked embarrassed and a bit tired from his commotion as we entered their home. I sat down beside Fatima and listened to her recount the story of Hussein's diagnosis. My heart was filled with a mix of emotions. From God's perspective, he was a perfect gift sent by Him to them. Hussein seemed smart, energetic and happy, but he was unaware of the shame his family seemed to feel for him because he was autistic and slightly retarded.

I grasped Fatima's hand as the words "I'm pregnant" fell from her mouth. In the same breath she announced, "And I don't want this baby! What if he turns out like Hussein?" My heart burned with emotion as she spoke the words. I had never heard these words spoken by any devout Shiite woman before.

Fatima needed a touch of grace from the Lord to see His plans for her life and Hussein's. Followers of Jesus began to surround Fatima with a cord of grace, a resource she did not know.

Recently she decided not to go through with her plan of abortion. For the first time in her life, Fatima is experiencing selfless love given to her by followers of Jesus. She is beginning to understand what it means to have hope and strength for the future, not in herself, but in God.

Please continue to pray for Hussein, his mother Fatima, and their entire family as they prepare for the birth of this new baby. Pray that their eyes would be opened to the truth, hope, light and mercy of Jesus! Pray for many Shiite women who are pregnant now - that they will know the plans God has for them and their babies - plans for welfare and not for evil, to give them a future and a hope.

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