On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. (Acts 8:1,4 NIV)
Can you imagine the incredible changes experienced by these first believers? Their world had been completely turned upside down. Against their expectations and desires, they suddenly found themselves in Samaria. It was not a comfortable place to be, for ‘Jews do not associate with Samaritans’ (John 4:9). In picking up their lives as refugees, the Bible could have recorded many of their activities: how they cared for their families, how they found work, how their needs were met. But Scripture is silent on all these topics.
One thing is clear from the history of these scattered people in Acts chapters 8 and 11: wherever they went, they spoke about Jesus Christ! He had changed their lives and a little thing like exile would not keep them from talking!
The growth of sizeable Muslim communities in many Western countries is undoubtedly transforming those countries. No longer is mission to Muslims only 'over there and far away'. Mission is now simply a question of loving our neighbour. We need to be as excited and talkative about our faith as those early Christians were. Indeed, I have found that talking to Muslims about Jesus is surprisingly easy.
In this series we'll look at how to go about gossiping the gospel, and explore how we can form good attitudes towards Muslims despite the negative images of Islam we are so often bombarded with.
Written by a British Pioneer, currently serving in North Africa.