Born into a Malay Muslim family, Reehab, 10, Nazra, 8 and Nayla, 6, were instilled with Islamic values and teachings. Their parents and extended family, being strong in their faith, were highly regarded and influential in their community.
Three years ago the children’s mother died from an illness. The children, along with their father, Sabit, suffered greatly over the loss.
With Sabit working long hours as an undertaker, to provide for the family, life became increasingly difficult. Reehab was given the responsibility of caring for his siblings as well as cooking, and washing the family’s clothes. Eventually, the additional domestic concerns, along with the pressure of work, took their toll on Sabit and he suffered an emotional breakdown.
A VOM contact known as Minz, a close friend of the family, made every effort to support Sabit and his children and comfort them in their sorrow. Over time, Minz prayed with Sabit and his children and shared the Gospel with them. Although Sabit would not leave Islam, he softened toward Christianity and even allowed his children to attend a local Christian school, where Minz worked.
The VOM-supported school is an outreach for children of all faiths, where many of the attendees are from Muslim homes. The school provides a Christian education in a caring environment. Many children and parents have come to accept the Gospel through the Christlike conduct of the teachers and staff.
Sabit, still struggling to cope, decided to send his children to stay with relatives in a nearby village, in the hope that the family would help raise the children. The relatives, however, discovered that Sabit’s children were learning about Christianity and became indignant. They refused to help Sabit and demanded the children leave the school or they would disown the family completely. The children also became targets of local bullies.
Having become aware of the positive changes in his children, Sabit refused to give in to the demands of his relatives and allowed the children to continue attending the school.
The children are happy and well taken care of by Minz and the other staff members. While Sabit has not yet accepted the Lord, he is delighted his children have found comfort, security and an opportunity for an education in a nurturing environment.
Please join with us in praying the Lord will draw Sabit to Himself. Pray too that He will continue to bless the efforts of the teachers and staff at the school, which continues to grow each year.
This year, we are planning to distribute Christmas Care packs in six countries, including Malaysia.
If you would like more information on our Christmas Care project visit vom.com.au/christmascare