As they say, evangelizing to the Muslim community is as difficult as trying to break a stone with an egg. It is not as though the Gospel is particularly difficult or inhumane. However, there is a widely held prejudice of hostility leading to the ostracizing and persecution of Christians. Even family members are ostracized for being Christian, so the outlook seems bleak when considering evangelism towards the Muslim community.
Amidst these sentiments, the global community would regard the Syrian refugee crisis as a headache. Even as the United Nations and the European Union got involved, the solution seemed far and remote. However, this refugee crisis that man cannot solve is actually a God given route for evangelism within that community. As God scatters the Syrian refugees, the previously blocked walls are slowly being torn down. They are feeling thanksgiving and respect to those going out of their way to help them and you can see the beginning of the softening of their hearts. The opening of hearts is breaking certain prejudices and further opening up the doors for the Gospel message. Last week I had the privilege of being able to hear of such incidences.
As you well know, Afghanistan, being infamous for the terrorist attack on the missions team from Saem-Mul Church in Korea, is a tourism restricted zone for Korea. However, there is one Korean that holds an American citizenship that continues to visit the country. Afghanistan is well known to lack in the basic nutritional supplies, leading to improper physical growth from malnutrition. With a holy burden to help, this nutritionist continues to enter this barren land. It is the story of a missionary that visited this country 90 times in the past 10 years to become the very first to successfully cultivate beans to help a community and a nation that has a problem with malnutrition. It isn't the type of conventional ministry to just throw out loaves of bread to a starving nation, but it is the revolutionary tale of the reviving of Afghan citizens with thorough research over what type of production is best for the area, by having 80% of the nation educate the farming community regarding bean cultivation, by allowing the women to begin a side business of poultry farming and by creating jobs in many factories for making bean products.
Presently, they are in development for bean-based food products with tofu being their most ambitious venture. It is a given that the Afghan community does not know what tofu tastes like since they were not a bean-cultivating culture. However, I assert that the day they are able to eat tofu will be the day that they will accept the Gospel message. I have faith that for a nation that ostracized the Gospel message, they will be able to accept this never before heard truth as they are able to accept this never before tasted tofu product. My heart reaches out to the Afghan in prayer as I partake in tofu stew today.
Rev. Bryan Kim is the lead pastor of Bethel Korean Church, located in Irvine, CA.