One of the first women she approached in the streets of Makassar cried as Mina shared her testimony. Mina, who was still a teenager, held out her hand and asked the woman if she could pray for her. After praying, she invited the woman to study the Bible with her. The woman not only agreed but brought six other women to the Bible study with her.
“We would sing and I would read the Bible,” said Mina, now 27. “I told my pastor, ‘I think this is what the Lord wants me to do.’”
A Growing Love for Muslims
Mina’s pastor connected her with a long-time missionary, who taught her the methods that she had used to effectively reach Muslims with the Gospel.
“The more I learned, the more my love grew for them,” Mina said. The work, however, was challenging, and Mina grew discouraged as many Muslims rejected her message of grace over the next few years.
In 2014, Mina met two other women from an evangelistic training centre in Makassar, and they made a commitment to sharing the Gospel together every day throughout the city. “We just try to meet as many people as we can until the late hour,” Mina said. “Maybe we will have 10 people we meet, and sometimes one or two.”
Mina also sought additional training in evangelism. As she completed her training in 2016 and gained more experience, she said she began to feel comfortable in nearly every scenario, and not simply because she had changed her approach.
“It was mostly because of prayer,” she explained. “There were fewer churches that were joining us in prayer, but then that changed. Praise God.”
Mina and other evangelists drive around the city together, praying that God will lead them to those with whom they should share the Gospel. She said God often leads them to mosques, where they wait patiently outside for the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Even when it’s not prayer time, people are usually sitting outside the mosques, resting and talking.
“The mosque is a place of worship,” she said, “so people who are going to the mosque are people who are more ready to talk about spiritual things because they are there looking for God.” Mina estimates that she and her team have helped lead 24 people to Christ since 2010. She has experienced persecution only once, and it occurred when she least expected it.
Mina’s ‘Big Problem’
In March 2018, as Mina was working with a new evangelism partner, she approached a woman outside a mosque to share the Gospel. As she talked with the woman, others nearby started listening to her message.
Suddenly, a man with a long beard struck her on the back so hard that she nearly fell into a nearby sewer. “The man wanted to know my identity and asked for my ID card,” Mina recalled. “He accused me of trying to brainwash the people.”
Recognising the confrontation as an opportunity, she sought God’s guidance in the situation. “I was very afraid,” Mina said. “It was a big man and me, a small lady.” Mina’s partner, unsure of what to do, watched silently.
“I just prayed in my heart that if it is time for me to die, I am ready,” Mina recalled. “This man was very mad and saying many things to me. My thoughts were just everywhere.”
As the man continued to berate Mina for trying to convert Muslims, others who had initially been receptive to her message also grew angry. Then Mina lost confidence. “It was like my bones wouldn’t hold me up,” she said. “I felt weak and wanted to collapse. I sent a text to my team, saying, ‘Please pray for me. I am facing a big problem here.’”
Eventually, Mina asked if she could speak. She sat down, reached out and calmly took the man’s hand. After the man also sat down, she began to share her faith. Although he continued to yell judgments at her, he listened to what she was saying, and they later agreed to exchange phone numbers.
But in the end, the man couldn’t contain his anger and threatened to post a video on social media of her sharing the Gospel with Muslims. “Don’t come back here,” he said. “If I see you somewhere else, you will have a big problem.”
Mina thanked the man for his time and promised to follow up with a text message. She then called a taxi, got in the car and started crying. Amazed that she hadn’t run away when things got heated, she suddenly had a deeper appreciation of Matthew 10:19–20, Jesus’ assurance that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say when we are brought before authorities to bear witness before them.
“I was crying because the Holy Spirit really helped me,” she said. “I wasn’t alone, and I knew that. I saw that it wasn’t me.”
Although Mina has tried calling and texting the man, he has never responded. She prays that God is continuing to soften his heart toward the Gospel. Today, VOM supports Mina as she continues to share the love of Christ with Muslims.
She said persecution has increased her faith and that the next time she experiences it, she knows for certain that the Holy Spirit will be with her. “Persecution is something that must happen,” she said, “and I am ready for it.”