We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

Indonesia: Nara’s story

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When Nara’s daughter married a Christian, all she wanted was that her child would remain a Muslim. Right before the wedding, Nara said to her daughter, “Don’t convert to Christianity.” In Indonesia there are no laws preventing Christians and Muslims marrying, but it’s not very common, as families of different religions don’t tend to mix.

In fact, Indonesia has been developing a more conservative Islamic character. That means Indonesians who are brought up as Muslims but become Christians will likely face disapproval, intense pressure to return to Islam, verbal abuse and possibly social isolation. In some cases, families will withdraw all support. Married women may keep their new faith secret a to avoid the threat of their husbands divorcing them. Some women are even faced with psychological abuse, including death threats, for practising Christianity.

In that context, you can see why Nara, a Muslim widow, didn’t want her daughter to become a Christian. But in the space of a few weeks, all that changed.


Image: Indonesian street scene.

Nara’s dream..

Nara had no real knowledge of Christianity – she’d seen a picture of Jesus at a friends house, but that was it. So, she was shocked that a few nights after the wedding she was awoken by a strange dream. In her dream, she saw Jesus and all she could say was, “Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, please help.”

No matter how hard Nara tried to ignore it, the dream kept coming back to her mind. “My chest feels tight [when I think about it]. [After that incident] I didn’t have the desire to go to work selling vegetables, so I stayed at home,” said Nara.

People in her neighbourhood knew that Nara was a widow, so when she didn’t turn up to her usual market stand, her neighbours started to wonder what had happened.

One of Nara’s regular customers, who was also a Christian, phoned her to see how she was. Nara told her about her dream. “At the time, my Christian customer asked if I was willing to meet with her pastor. I immediately agreed”, Nara recalls.

When the pastor heard about her dream, he said, “God desires to touch your life. Do you want to accept Him as your Lord and Savior?” She immediately said ‘yes’, because of the anxiety she had been experiencing over the last couple of weeks.

She knew that she needed to do something. “So, when I said that I wanted to accept the Lord Jesus, the Pastor led me to accept Him. And my heart was filled with peace afterwards. Everything that had previously agitated me simply vanished.”

Nara is now part of a discipleship group led by this pastor. This pastor uses teaching materials provided by Open Doors partners to help those who come along to the group grow in their relationship with God.

Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. The news of Nara’s newfound faith was met with confusion and anger from her unmarried daughters. They were so shocked that they have moved out of home, leaving Nara to make ends meet by herself. Because of her decision to leave Islam to become a Christian, her neighbours have also started to ignore her and exclude her from community activities.

“I have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but it doesn’t matter”, says Nara. “The Lord Jesus has saved me, and for that I am thankful. He directs me to His path and light. I’ll keep following Jesus until He calls me home.”

Please continue to pray for Nara as she chooses to follow Jesus even in this trying season.

PRAY NOW...
1

For God to touch the hearts of her daughters to accept her new faith and to find Jesus for themselves.

3

That God will bless her small business and the work of her hands.

2

That her faith continues to grow and she would stand strong despite opposition.

4

That she will have the courage to share about God's goodness He has done in her life.

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