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Salt and light

July 2011 | by Catherine Barlow

World Mission

Salt and light

What do you think or feel when you hear the word ‘Muslim’? God has called you and I to be salt and light to them as well (Matthew 5:13-15).

I think, if God had told me at first to go to a Muslim country and learn a related language, it would have been a massive struggle and learning the new language would be like facing a mountain that could not be climbed.
    At school I struggled and never got the hang of English grammar, and I scored 0 on foreign languages. Even though I heard the gospel when I was 14, I pushed God to one side. But, when I was 18, I was converted at a baptismal service. The one thing I knew for sure that night was that I was going to heaven; and I wanted to tell others about the truth.
    My parents tried to understand when I told them why I wanted to go to Bible college. When I spent three years in Nepal, my parents and two of my sisters came out to visit me. But it was much harder for my family to understand when I said I wanted to live in Pakistan.
    I did not like the idea initially; it would mean learning another language (Urdu) and living in a Muslim country. I had no natural desire for either of those things. But God kept on prompting me about it.
    
Reaching out

I spent two years crying my way through language study — really! What I also experienced was that folks in Pakistan (as Nepal) needed to taste and see God for themselves, and not seek him through the ritual worship they had grown up with.
    When I came back to the UK to help nurse my mother who had cancer, God called me to stay here and reach out to South Asians with the gospel.
    Now, I can honestly say I have the best job in the world. My favourite bit is visiting Asian friends, sharing tea and biscuits and gossiping the gospel (1 Peter 3:15). I also have a group of volunteers who go out door-knocking with me and lending DVDs. No experience necessary for this!
    I long that others would be equipped to be able to talk to Muslims, wherever and whenever they meet them, about the one who is the only way, truth and life. So I help run day conferences and am involved in running EWI (Encountering the World of Islam) courses.
    EWI helps people to understand more about Muslim culture and how to be loving salt and light, to the glory of God the Father. Would you join me in praying for the work God has called me to, and for more full-time and part-time workers? That could be you!
Catherine Barlow
[email protected]

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Islam