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How Do You Write To A Muslim Child?

A few days ago I was reading the letters I’ve received from Munni and Sovanna, and I realized something: I seem to connect better with Sovanna in Cambodia than with sweet Munni in Bangladesh.

And I know the reason why.

In one of Sovanna’s early letters, she confirmed that she believed in Jesus as her Savior. I knew I could share verses and prayer requests with her, and she in turn has done the same for me.

Yet I hesitate when I write to Munni. Like almost 90% of Bangladesh, Munni is Muslim. Our letters have focused on her school, what her parents do for a living, what our favorite fruits are. And in her most recent letter, whether or not our country has hills. Living in Colorado, this was great fun to answer!

I’ve tried to get creative with the way I talk about God and faith. (Just in time for fall, you can read how I used the changing of the leaves in autumn for an easy transition into talking about God’s character.)

I hesitate to write Munni about Jesus, however. In my job, I read so many stories of the persecution believers face in countries with strong Muslim majorities such as Bangladesh, Lebanon, Jordan, and even parts of Ethiopia and India.

Here’s the thing, though: I know Munni is learning about Jesus. According to the progress report I recently received, I know she attends the Sunday school and other Christian activities the project offers. They wrote that she likes to learn the songs and memorize the Bible verses.

Having met a few of the staff who serve these children with much grace and holy intentions, I can trust that they know how to best share the love of Jesus and God’s salvation message.

In thinking through all of this, I realized that I’ve been worrying more about Munni’s parents. How do they feel when Munni comes home with a letter from me? They obviously put Munni’s education ahead of their own beliefs. Our schools and centers are very clear about what a child will learn when the parent first registers a child in our programs.

My letters to Munni have taken on a different intentionality than those to Sovanna in Cambodia. I don’t think I’ll adjust how or what I write to her. I will, however, change the way I pray as I write.

  • I’ll pray for God’s inspiration and continue to seek creative ways to share about God’s love.
  • I’ll also pray for those who will translate my letter. Perhaps it can be an encouragement to them.
  • I will lift up the staff who will distribute my letter and yours – I will pray for security and discernment in the face of opposition or discouragement.
  • I will pray for the parents of Muslim children in our programs, that their hearts will be touched by the love pouring off the pages of our letters and that they will see the hands, feet, and face of Jesus in the staff who serve their children.  
  • And I will pray that more sponsors will step into the gap for children of another faith, children who deserve the same opportunities as others. I’ll pray that we can break down the barriers and stereotypes and that God will truly knit our hearts together with and for the children.

How about you? Do you sponsor a Muslim child? How do you approach letters to him or her?

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