Former Muslim Faces His Persecutors
Last year Open Doors ended a letter writing campaign for Muzein a Muslim Background Believer (MBB) from southwest Ethiopia. Over the last year, Open Doors has kept a close eye on Muzein’s journey and is pleased to give some encouraging feedback on his progress.
Muzein was an esteemed witchdoctor in his village. He befriended some Christians and, as a result, decided to give his life to the Lord. Following his conversion, he encountered difficulties with his Muslim family. His father, angered by his decision, told family members that he had died. Believers took him under their wing and decided to send Muzein to a church in Addis Ababa for discipleship training. The training equipped Muzein with the necessary skills to reach out to Muslims and minister to new MBB’s.
Meanwhile, the leaders from the church in Metu communicated to the Addis Ababa church their need for a mission worker with a Muslim background. The town of Metu is close to Muzein’s home village, so the church leaders recommended Muzein for the position with complete peace of mind.
For three years the church in Metu had been praying for the right person to come and take up the evangelizing reins in their church. When the elders met with Muzein, listened to his testimony and witnessed his zeal for the ministry, they knew God had answered their prayers. The leadership of the Metu church could not offer Muzein any financial support, but along with Muzein, they decided to take a step of faith and trust God to provide for his needs.
Within a short period of time, Muzein took on his new responsibilities as mission worker. With a “seize the moment approach,” he constantly is on the lookout for opportunities to offer a helping hand to fellow citizens. Muzein explains that generous gestures like these create friendly openings to engage on a personal level with them. His servant attitude has already unlocked several doors that were once shut for the Gospel.
Muzein’s desire to share the Gospel with his family burns just as strongly as it did a year ago. But he could not rush back to his home village. His father had told the family that he had died. Apparently his mother was deeply grieved. There was even a formal mourning held in the village.Therefore, returning to his village would not only have caused an uncomfortable stir, but also endangered his life all over again. Muzein prayed for the right opportunity to visit them. When his uncle died he knew that he needed to go. News that Muzein planned to attend the funeral reached his deceived mother.
His presence at the funeral evoked both hostile and responsive feelings amongst the villagers. But an overwhelming relief came over him when he saw his mother’s face. “Thank God, she was overjoyed to see me there, alive and well.” But her husband’s betrayal was a double blow for Muzein’s mother. She could not deal with the fact that he had lied to her all along, and soon filed for a divorce. The Police brought his father in for questioning. But his only defense was that Muzein’s decision to convert to Christianity was equal to death in the family – as it would be for any true Muslim.
Despite the challenges of reconciling with a family who wants to kill you, and finding inventive ways to minister to Muslims, Muzein remains resolute in his mission. Traveling five to six hours on foot, he spends his days reaching target groups in three different districts. He has been jailed without any charges, is despised by the majority of the villagers and his father does not want anything to do with him. But giving up hope is not an option. His brother is already showing interest in the message of true salvation. And where his father is concerned, by God’s grace, it is only a matter of time before he will be reeled in.
Lord, we lift up Muzein as he teaches about Jesus, the Messiah, in Ethiopia. We pray that You would continue to pour out Your blessing on his ministry and that You would grant him a patient heart as he awaits that moment when his family members turn their hearts toward You. We pray for the Christian community in Metu to stand strong in unity, and we pray for godly leaders who are willing to serve the persecuted Christians with conviction. In the Name of Jesus our Saviour and Lord, Amen.