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Missions Work in Our Own Backyard

Joshua Massey writes in "Hometown Ministry as Pre-Field Preparation”:

[Vern], an elder at my church, listened patiently as I described my vision to reach Muslims in South Asia. He then replied, "Tell me about your ministry to Muslims here."

"Well, I don't actually know many Muslims here," I answered. "I'm too swamped with work, school, and ministry at the church to spend much time that way."

Vern then gently asked, "What kind of ministry do you think will better prepare you for church planting among Muslims: Leading small group Bible studies (something I'd been doing for several years), or friendship evangelism among Muslims?" The answer was embarrassingly obvious. Vern encouraged me to pray that God would lead me to Muslims in my hometown.

I did, and within days his answers materialized. I'd never noticed Syed in my political science class before. I guessed one bearded student I saw walking around campus must be from South Asia. I met a young Muslim woman in my biology class the following semester and later invited her to my home for dinner. Her husband was the bearded student! I began seeing South Asian Muslims at gas stations, mini-markets, and even my own residential neighborhood.

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