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The fish that jumped into the boat


Jordanian Muslim led to Christ through online English lessons


Through a partnership between OneWay and the Crescent Project, a prominent Muslim in Jordan has become a follower of Christ and is eager to share the truth of God’s Word with his wife and children.


“This fish just jumped in my boat,” says Robin, Connections Coordinator for the project that led Adam* to Christ. Robin connects Muslims with English-speaking volunteers through an online English program. OneWay’s Digital Evangelist volunteered his marketing skills to find Muslims who are willing to read the Bible with a Christian as a way of learning English.


When Robin talked with Adam, it was clear that he was ready to hear the gospel.


“I had the extreme pleasure of leading him to Christ and explaining what God has already done in his heart, which he just didn't understand.” Robin explains. “I've never experienced talking to somebody who God has so completely called.”


HOW DOES DIGITAL EVANGELISM WORK?


Sparrow*, OneWay’s Digital Evangelist, creates connections between evangelists and seekers (people open to hearing the gospel) in the Middle East. He learned that Crescent Project trains volunteers to tutor Muslims in English online using the Bible as their curriculum but that the volunteers spend a lot of time identifying Muslims who are willing to read the Bible. Sparrow offered to use online marketing to specifically draw in seekers who are willing to read the Bible so that the English teachers can spend all their time in teaching and evangelism.


"Our first attempt at finding English students was not very cost-effective. It cost me $4 of advertising per student, and I wasn't happy with that,” Sparrow says.


So he tried a different method, rebuilding his outreach using Facebook to find potential students and an automated chatbot to ask them a series of interview questions. As people began to respond to the Facebook ads, Robin followed up, matching them with volunteers from Crescent Project’s existing English program, Embassy.


THE FISH THAT JUMPED IN THE BOAT


Unsure if the people who responded would be a good fit for the program, Robin asked God for a sign that they were on the right track. Soon after, Adam, who applied to learn English, had written "I'm just so hungry for facts,” and she decided to call him first.


“I see it as a great kindness that the very first connection was somebody who was just seeking Jesus very, very hard,” Robin says.


After Robin led Adam to the Lord, she told him she would pair him with a mature Christian man for discipleship. But it was important to Adam that he continue talking with Robin. She explained that because she is a woman, the only way she was willing to talk to him was if he brought his wife and daughters to their next video call, and she brought her husband and daughter.

Old Jerusalem walls
Having a team on the ground in Jordan ready to disciple new believers was a foundational aspect of the project.

As they introduced each other to their families, Adam enthusiastically showed Robin his home over the video call and even pointed out the window to Jerusalem.


Adam now meets with Aaron weekly for English lessons and discipleship.


“It’s going really well,” Aaron says. “He's making really insightful, Holy Spirit–led observations about the passages. I coached him through how to pray and so he prayed for himself, for his country and for me.”


Adam shared that he “wants to be a seed for his country and that the Kingdom would go forth.” The next step will be to connect Adam with a weekly online fellowship of Arabic-speaking believers.


Because Adam holds a prominent position in his community, he is wary of meeting with other believers in person. Persecution is high in Jordan. So although Sparrow and Robin are ready to connect new believers with Christians on the ground there, they will only make that connection when a new believer feels comfortable meeting with someone in his country.


NARROWING THE NET


“My agenda is to find people who are already interested in Christianity, who think, ‘This is my chance to meet with a Christian!’ when they see an ad for English lessons with American Christians,” Sparrow says.


Not everyone responds to Sparrow’s ads like Adam did.


“The internet is like this great big net and so we're really praying about how to fish well, and how to find the good fish,” Robin explains — that is, the ones who are already open to reading the Bible. For a Muslim to read the Bible is already a sign that God might be working in their heart, but participants come in at various stages of spiritual openness and English skills.


The Crescent Project’s Embassy curriculum walks volunteers and their students through the Bible from the creation and fall stories to New Testament redemption with vocabulary words, discussion questions and homework prompts. Participants are asked to retell the stories to friends and family as a way of practicing their English-speaking skills.


Embassy volunteers all have various levels of skills, from experienced ESL teachers to fluent English speakers with little or no experience. Robin encourages anyone who is interested to learn more on Embassy’s website.


*last name withheld for security reasons



JOIN US IN PRAYER AND PARTNERSHIP:

  • Pray that Adam would feel safe enough to connect with a Christian community in Jordan.

  • Pray that Robin and Sparrow would have the wisdom to select the right students as people respond to their ads.

  • Pray that those already participating in the English lessons would believe what they are reading in the Bible.

  • Pray for more Christians to volunteer their time to share the gospel and build relationships with Muslims through Embassy.


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