April 25, 2021
With its Christian publishers, colleges and seminaries, Grand Rapids is seen by many Reformed believers as a New Jerusalem.
But since the 1990s, Michigan’s second largest city has also become home to the second largest Bosnian Muslim population in the United States. (The largest is in St. Louis.)
There are now more than 120,000 Bosnians in the U.S., as well as half of a million people of Bosnian descent. But they aren’t always easy for Westerners to identify as Muslim, as they are Caucasian and often dress in Western clothing.
But underneath the surface, their family histories are fractured by memories of a vicious civil war fraught with ethnic cleansing and unchecked violence.
Ajlina lives in Grand Rapids, where two recent family losses have tapped into the pain of her past traumas and tried her faith in Allah.
“God, I once had faith and prayed to you every day. Please show me what I’m missing!”
The next day, the doorbell rang. A woman who said she had a burden for the neighborhood offered to pray for Ajlina. Suspicious at first, Ajlina begrudgingly accepted her offer.
After prayer, the woman offered to share with her the message of the New Testament. Having lived among Christians for many years, Ajlina always wondered what they believed.
The woman pulled a 3” x 5” notecard out of her purse and proceeded to share with her the gospel. She described a gulf that separates us from God and talked about a bridge that could cross that gulf.
“Jesus is the bridge!” the woman said. “His perfect life, death, and resurrection bridge the gulf that separates us from God.”
“God answered my prayer!” said an amazed Ajlina. “Now I know that Jesus is what I’ve been missing!”
Pray that Bosnians may find the Gospel through the plentiful resources available in the Grand Rapids area.
- There has never been a concerted effort to engage and reach the Bosnians of Grand Rapids. Pray the Lord will send laborers into the harvest!
- “The harvest is plentiful” (Luke 10:2). Pray that laborers find the ones in whom God is working.
These pages are made available every day during the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World for those who cannot afford to purchase, or do not have access to the booklet.
Please note: The annual costs to produce and market this important prayer focus are not covered by foundation grants or major donors gifts, but by our personal funds. In other words, we depend on sales to recoup the money and to be able to continue.