Soccer, Kebabs, and the Injil:

A Short-Termer Builds Bridges to Muslims in the East


by Stephen Jordan (pseudonym)




Many books dealing with a Christian view of Islam approach the subject from a doctrinal or apologetic point of view.  These are indispensable helps to our understanding, but there is perhaps another genre of literature on the subject which is equally helpful, and that is the record of what God is doing in the world of Islam.  Like the Old Testament stories, which were “written for our instruction” (1 Cor. 10:9), the experiences of God’s people today can both encourage—because we too often think that Muslims cannot be reached with the Gospel—and warn us—because the motives of those who do make some kind of commitment to Christ are often very mixed.

Stephen Jordan (pseudonym) made a commitment to serve for one year in a staunchly Muslim country.  He went out prepared for the task at hand.  What he was not prepared for was the very positive response he, and others like him, received.  The following pages relate a short-term experience that, in the meantime, has led Stephen to embark upon what may well become a longer, life-long journey to some of the most neglected people groups on earth.

Workers who have long experience in Muslim countries may call into question some of the approaches that Stephen and his colleagues used, or at least wonder if they should have been more cautious.  Critique is generally warranted and helpful, but it should be kept in mind that most of Stephen’s colleagues were non-Western, and these had as much influence on the team’s methodology as Stephen did.  And as far as the new believers are concerned, their enthusiasm appears to be very genuine.  True, the majority are young men in their late teens and twenties, and are still in the process of finding their identity.  Time will tell if their faith is genuine.  However, most are still “walking” with the Lord today, and many have paid a price for doing so.  

As a mission leader, I am greatly encouraged by the evident call of God upon Stephen’s life.  As an American Christian, I am enlightened in many ways by Stephen’s experience, because it helps me not only to understand what Muslims believe, but why they believe it.  And as a father, well, I fear sometimes for what Stephen’s calling may mean for him and his young wife and (future) children, for Stephen is my son.  But my wife and I have been immeasurably enriched by seeing the fruit of our prayers, and much more those of Stephen’s grandparents, as well as those of his wife’s parents and grandparents. And we continue to pray that God’s Word may go forth to those who have had so little chance to hear it.


Download a pdf of the entire book.