Muslims disillusioned by the chaos and unrest in the Middle East are embracing Christianity at an unprecedented rate after experiencing visions of Christ and hearing the truth of the Gospel.
Tyler Connell, a missionary with Youth With a Mission, recently visited Iraq and the surrounding area. During his trip, he was amazed to see the way in which God is moving among Muslims living in the region.
"Jesus is moving in these Middle East nations," he said, according to Mark Ellis of God Reports. "Many there are disillusioned and broken and just want to know the truth. Now more than ever there is a harvest among Muslims that has not been seen in history."
He shared a particularly compelling story of a young missionary named Daniel, who moved to the Middle East to work with Syrian refugees.
"They go house to house and visit these Muslim families and sit with them and talk with them and find out their names, their stories, and love them. As trust is built, they begin to open up about the Gospel."
One afternoon, Daniel walked into a white tent with a family of eight people inside and announced his name and mission: to tell them about Jesus.
Instantly, the family began excitedly yelling at one another, prompting Daniel to wonder what was going on.
Amid the frenzy, an interpreter explained that the night before Daniel's visit, the whole family was sitting in their tent, when a glowing man in white opened the door to their tent and stood at the entrance.
"Hello, My name is Jesus and I am sending a man tomorrow named Daniel to tell you more about me," the man said before disappearing.
Overwhelmed by Daniel's appearance, the family asked him to stay and share the Gospel.
"They asked him to tell them more about Jesus and he gave then the Gospel and the whole family gave their lives to Jesus," Connell reports.
Prior to their conversion, the family had been devout Muslims, and the father had been a part of the Free Syrian Army.
"He had known bloodshed," Connell said. "This man and his family are now planting underground churches and are seeing a harvest among Muslims."
The family's conversion calls to mind the story found in Acts 16:25-40, in which the Philippian jailer is converted after witnessing the power of God and the ministry of his prisoners, Paul and Silas. After accepting Christ, the jailer brings the apostles to his house to share the Gospel and baptize his entire family.
Connell shared that in May 2015, his team spent eight days in the Middle East, going house to house among the refugees. "They were all Muslims but they all said they were disillusioned with Islam and they didn't know what they believed anymore," he said.
"They asked, 'What is the truth?' There was a perfect cocktail of circumstances that caused them to be open to the preaching of the Gospel."
He recalled one particular Syrian family, who, despite their poverty, irradiated with the love of Jesus Christ. "The joy that broke out among these people was incredible," he notes. "Jesus' presence was stronger than I have ever felt, in that little dirty room, with cat pee everywhere."
"There was about 25 people in there and Jesus' presence was stronger than any conference, any prayer room, any camp-high moment. Jesus was there in the middle of the desert, in the dirt, with Muslims. He is attracted to the broken-hearted, the contrite, the desperate. The King of Heaven was right there with the poor in spirit."
YWAM, a nonprofit missionary organization active since 1960, describes itself as "a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world."
During a 2015 appearance on The Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network, YWAM director Gina Fadely said that God often uses dreams to give YWAM missionaries a way to reach people in the Middle East with the Christian message, and to convince them to believe in Jesus as savior, The Christian Post reports.
Nabeel Qureshi, an apologist and the author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity, also explained the significance of dreams to Muslims in an interview with Post.
"In Muslim cultures, generally speaking, people don't see themselves as being able to commune with God. Communion is a very Christian concept and the idea that Christ has torn down the veil - in a lot of cultures the veil is still up. In Islam, for example, people don't expect to have God talk back to them personally, as the Holy Spirit isn't living in them. They ask God for guidance through dreams; that's like the one way that Muslims expect to hear from God," Qureshi explained.
"For someone to reach out and ask, 'God, can you tell me about you?' Or, 'If you're Jesus, can you show me a dream?' That's not strange at all. ... That's kind of what Muslims do," he added.