"Jane" is part of a church-planting team with SIM in Central Asia hoping to plant a church among the Muslim minorities there. She and her teammates look for ways to introduce Jesus that are culturally resonant.
Over the past few months I felt God prompting me to fast, so I started fasting once a week. As this year's Ramadan festival approached though, I felt prompted to fast in a more significant way. I decided, following the practice of our local Muslim minority group, to abstain from food until evening.
I did not have any specific expectations of what would happen during this time but, as the end of Ramadan approached, God surprised me.
We live in an environment where local people are rarely open to considering the Gospel. We are intentional with sowing spiritual seeds, but rarely have — or expect to have — the opportunity for in-depth conversations about Jesus or religion and spirituality.
But during this time, I had the opportunity to tell a friend I was fasting during Ramadan — just like her. She was elated and we engaged in a 45-minute conversation about Jesus. We discussed what fasting meant to her, and I shared what it meant for me. She noted that her people fast out of duty and I fast out of love.
I am usually not a dreamer, but following that discussion I had a dream where I decided to cut my hair. In my dream, as I turned my head sideways, my face became the face of one of the local Ewe people.
My friend often shared her dreams with me, so I shared this strange one with her. She was touched. People here take dreams very seriously and she instantly saw the meaning.
"Clearly you have a true love in your heart for my people," she said. "Maybe you realized this as you've been fasting."
Indeed, God has given me a love for her and her people, which she could discern through our conversations.
The dream has been the start of almost two weeks worth of conversations with my friend about dreams, evil spirits and a relationship with God. I believe fasting created the bridge to these conversations and I have prayed for more opportunities to arise in the weeks and months ahead.
Jane invites others to join her in this ministry of prayer and fasting for her Muslim friends and Muslims around the world.