IRVING—Abraham Sarker grew up in an Islamic culture in Bangladesh and chose to dedicate his life to Allah. But at age 15, he encountered God in a dream that made him question Islam and begin a search for truth.
Sarker recalled hearing a voice that told him to look for a Bible. He searched diligently for a Bible four years, finally finding one in his own Bengali language when he moved to Florida to attend college.
After reading the Bible and meeting with a missionary at his campus, he chose to become a follower of Christ. And his life radically changed.
“I was a Muslim missionary, but now I am using the Muslim mission strategy to reach others for Christ,” Sarker said. “The Muslim strategy is to impact a community economically, religiously and politically. Now, this is my strategy to reach Muslims for Christ.”
After Sarker found Christ, his heart was burdened to share the hope he found in Christ with the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world—a burden that soon brought persecution from his friends, classmates and family.
“I had an incident in Florida where some guys got angry and beat me up,” Sarker said. “I was scared they were going to kill me. And my family was very, very upset with my conversion.”
For his own protection, Sarker moved to Dallas where he attended Christ for the Nations Institute and Dallas Baptist University—a move that resulted in his being disowned by his father.
He continued studying and growing in his faith, sharing Christ with Muslims around him. During this time, he met his wife Amie, and they began to pray about ways to make an impact on the Islamic world with the gospel.
Pivotal point in 2002
The burden to reach Muslims and encourage former Muslims to be bold in their walk with Christ continued to grow in his heart, coming to a pivotal point in 2002.
“The church around here didn’t have a place for me or a way to use me,” he said. “I looked around and saw other former Muslims were having the same problem.”
Sarker—now a member of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas—spoke with Charles Wade, former executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. For at least15 years, it had been very difficult to reach Muslims in the Dallas area because many of the Muslim background believers would not stand up and boldly share their faith because of fear of persecution, Wade said.
“Former Muslims will come to church, but they won’t let us use their names or information,” Sarker said.
After these experiences, Sarker said he could not watch other former Muslims be silent any longer—something had to be done to start a fire in their hearts so they will share their faith at any cost. He formed a 15-member council for former Muslims and asked why they were being quiet about their faith when they knew they had the hope of Christ to share.
“I asked, ‘How many of you truly are ready to die for Christ?’” Sarker said. “And very few of the 15 said they were ready.”
Risking death by proclaiming Christ
Sarker met regularly with this group to help them mature to the point where they would stand up and proclaim Christ’s name—even if it meant risking death.
“Now we have nine out of the 15 in our group who are committed to do whatever it takes to help reach Muslims for Christ,” he said.
Out of this group, Sarker and his wife birthed Gospel for Muslims, a ministry focused on equipping Christians with Muslim backgrounds to be bold in their faith as they reach out to the Muslims around them.
“We bring the real teaching of Islam—what it is and is not compared to Christianity,” Sarker said. “We educate and motivate our Christian people and we try to activate them to ministry.”
Equipping and challenging Christians to share their faith is one aspect of Texas Hope 2010, a Baptist General Convention of Texas initiative to share the gospel with every non-Christian in Texas by Easter 2010.
Gospel for Muslims sponsors an intensive institute that trains 15 students each semester how to minister to Muslims. Other ministries include an annual conference that trains Christians from throughout the United States and Canada how to reach Muslims, as well as ministries to Muslim women and refugees.
The BGCT has helped sponsor the Muslim Background Believer’s Conference. The 2008 conference will be Sept. 26-27 at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.
Gospel for Muslims also offers a once-a-month prayer meeting to encourage believers to fast and pray for God to move among Muslims and bring them to faith in Christ.
“We train former Muslims to return to their town to lead their area,” Abraham said. “I see this ministry is so vital in America. There is now a mosque in every state. It is time for us to wake up and do something. In another 15 to 20 years, it will be too late.”
Sarker’s ministry extends beyond the United States. Gospel for Muslims is preparing to minister in Bangladesh with the help of Sarker’s father and two of his brothers who are now Christians. They will be deliver Bibles to the areas where Sarker taught when he was a Muslim missionary.
“Islam gave me many good things, but it did not give me the assurance of my salvation,” Sarker said.
“This is the hope we want to share—that you can know God and that he wants to know you. When I go to Bangladesh, I can’t even sleep, because the need is overwhelming. People are hungry and there is not enough time to share Christ.”
For more information about Gospel For Muslims, visit www.gospelformuslims.com.
View a video of Sarker's testimony at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4924973029139032092