But something else caught my eye. It reminded me of David Garrison’s research of voluntary movements of Muslims to follow Christ. Defining a movement in terms of 1000 new believers and 100 worshiping fellowships, Garrison noted one such movement during the first 1300 years of Islam. From 1980-2000, there were 8 of these movements … then 64 more during the first dozen years of this century! While great needs exist, my sense was that such Muslim background disciples are not as rare as previously thought. Through Network Beyond partnerships and ITI trainings, we witness this work of God’s Spirit and are thankful.
Rose is one of our ITI graduates. She was challenged to think about how God wanted her to apply what she learned. Her calling—to bring the gospel to Muslim men! She met five men under a coconut tree in coastal Kenya. She began discipling them, and over time all five embraced Christ. We affectionately call it, "The Church Under the Coconut Tree," though they would use different language.
Several weeks ago, Rose wanted me to meet two of her friends. I introduced myself. The first man said, “Hi, my name is Mohammed.” His friend greeted me as well, “My name is also Mohammed.” They looked at each other with a bit of a smile. “We have a lot of Mohammeds in our church!” (By the way, they now need three coconut trees when they meet.)