In our Western culture, baptisms are typically public events, often shared widely and celebrated by entire families with enthusiasm.
But baptisms in Muslim lands are held away from prying eyes and wagging tongues. Often people must be transported to a distant and private location—the wilderness, sea, or at night. Serious trouble abounds when strangers are present or when baptisms are held locally.
Baptisms are so dangerous there that some groups forgo baptism entirely. Yet still we are happy to baptize people, and they are happy for this rite that signifies their death and resurrection from the old life.
Even the act of baptism is different in this area. No one but a father, husband or son touches a Muslim woman, so the pastor must stand beside the new believer and hold one hand in the air while he says the familiar words in an unfamiliar language. Then he holds his other hand above the person’s head while the individual lowers herself under the water and then rises to a new life.
Traveling for these baptisms takes money. Transportation as well as food must be provided for the group. Sometimes the distance is great. The costs seem astronomical in some areas, but if you ask these believers if it’s worth it, they will answer with a firm “yes!”
In these Muslim lands there is no union conference to help with the expenses of baptism. In one country alone, 1,500 individuals await baptism. That number, multiplied by several dollars per person, shows the funds that are needed. Praise the Lord for the success that creates this challenge.
Ahmad and Fatima, along with 1,498 others are eager to be baptized. Somewhere must be found the funds for this important introduction into the family of God.