Pastor Salim has been called to a costly ministry. His work reaching out to his Muslim-majority community in East Africa and discipling new believers has resulted in ridicule, attacks on his home, and even death threats. He bravely perseveres but constantly faces a battle with loneliness and discouragement. You can help him by writing him a personal message of encouragement. Please note that his name has been changed for security reasons.
Pastor Salim is one of a number of Christians you can write to using our new letter-writing guide
He once had questions. Now he’s the one answering them.
When a mission team visited his school, Salim – whose lives in East Africa and grew up a Muslim – had many questions. “But what came vividly to my understanding is that Jesus is a loving God who came to save the lost,” he says. “That is how I became a Christian.”
His life was transformed, and today he is a pastor reaching out to people in the Muslim-majority community where he lives.
“Our focus is to show them the love of God, to help them see its difference from Islam,” the pastor explains. “People just follow religion, and they don’t understand, so they follow the religion rather than seeking a relationship with God. Being born and raised in this community and knowing Islam has given us a platform to reach out to our community.”
His vision is also to disciple converts. “As much as we can, we show them the love of God, supporting them in various areas of their lives, helping them to grow and discipling them, and answering the questions that they have because when they become Christians they have many questions.
“We are trying to answer those questions, especially the apologetics ones: Who is this Jesus? Is Jesus the Son of God? Is Jesus a man? Is Jesus God? We try to help them understand. Our focus is to raise them up to go and reach others and then disciple them.”
It’s a ministry that is not without dangers. Meetings are held discreetly – this could be in hotels or riding a taxi, or through everyday interactions. Amazingly, the number of believers from Muslim backgrounds is growing, but not all can be open about their new faith. Pastor Salim’s church is looking after several secret believers.
Pastor Salim himself is exposed to ridicule, mocking and even death threats. “They say things like, ‘We are going to burn the church’, ‘We are going to destroy you’, ‘We are going to kill you’, ‘We know all your moves’, ‘We know what you are doing,’” he shares. “I thank God because He has kept us through all of this. We are still alive because of His grace.”
It’s a costly calling – and it takes its toll. “It troubles my wife,” he says. “She is more traumatised than me because of the messages, threats, name-calling, and people throwing stones at our home. That affects me negatively.” Pastor Salim does what he can to minimise the risks, such as avoiding travelling at night. He is always on guard.
Whilst he refuses to give up, Pastor Salim admits it’s a battle to fight loneliness and discouragement. A verse that he holds on to is Hebrews 13:5: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Had it not been for the encouragement and support you’ve given him, he might have given up a long time ago. He highlights three ways you’ve come alongside him and his ministry.
“Number one, you have taught us about apologetics, how to defend our faith and effectively reach out and disciple our community. Thanks to your training, all our members, even the children, can answer a Muslim when questioned about the faith. It has helped this church to be firm.
"You have taught us how to defend our faith and effectively reach out and disciple our community" Pastor Salim
“Then number two, you’ve provided trauma care. Many of the pastors who serve in these regions are traumatised. Most of the time they are discouraged to the point of leaving the ministry.
“And the third thing is the provision of persecution survival training. Despite the challenges, difficulties and threats, being called names and being discouraged, we keep going despite the storm. This has helped us to stand firm in our faith. When the trauma comes, we know how we can come out of the trauma, come out of the depression.”
Your support has contributed hugely to the fruitfulness of Pastor Salim’s ministry. “It has sharpened us and helped us be an influence in people’s lives,” he explains. “I want to thank you for this great thing that you are doing by labouring with us. Whenever we need the support, you are always ready, and you are there for us. This has shown us clearly that you love what you are doing. And you are passionate and ready every time to be shoulders that we can lean on whenever we need help.”
Pastor Salim is featured in our brand new letter-writing guide, which also features campaigns for Christians in places such as Colombia, Malaysia, the Middle East and Nigeria.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.