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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Day 9: Bleeding to Remember

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

Today's email comes to you from a 24 year old follower of Christ loving Him among Shiites this Ashura.
Thank you for fasting and praying with us that many Shiites will come to know God through Jesus this Ashura!
For the last 9 days Shiite Muslims have been meeting together to hear and remember the massacre of Imam Hussein and his family many years ago in Karbala, Iraq. During these gatherings men, women, and even children loudly wail and cry for hours. We've been with some of them, praying.
Many Shiites are also making pilgrimages to important shrines now. You may have heard that 38 Shiites from Iran were killed by a female suicide bomber in Baghdad this past Sunday. Shiites in many lands are experiencing enhanced pain this Ashura because of their anger and sadness over what is happening in Gaza.
There is now only one day left of this Ashura. Tomorrow, January 7, on the 10th day of Ashura, many Shiite Muslims will march through their neighborhood streets chanting and beating their chests in sorrow. Some Shiite men will even cut their heads and backs with knives or chains to better remember the pain that Imam Hussein and his family suffered.
Sometimes it's hard to understand why these precious people are so sorrowful about the death of a man and his family well over a thousand years ago; but then I think of how hopeless we would be if Jesus had been killed against his will on the cross and had never risen again.
Shiites understand suffering and pain. They are searching for hope. And they are a cluster of peoples who God is greatly moving among.
From Afghanistan to India to Pakistan to Iran to Iraq to Bahrain to Lebanon, more Shiite Muslims have entered Jesus' sheepfold in the past three years than in the last 1300 years combined!
God is always at work, but there are special seasons of His activity. There is no question: NOW is one of those special times for Shiite Muslims!
As we begin this final day of Ashura, please join me in praying:
  • Shiites will have a personal encounter with Jesus in the closing hours of this Ashura 
  • Many Shiite families will see, hear, and understand the Message of the Gospel in the next 24 hours 
  • Entire Shiite families will begin to follow Jesus  
  • Shiites will continue to have dreams about Jesus that will compel them to know and love Him more

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