Monthly Archives: April 2020

Christmas Under Corona

Imagine we were going through this pandemic at Christmas time. What would that be like? No office party? Maybe a good thing. No candlelight service at church, the light growing and glowing as the flame passes person to person. Maybe finances so low and uncertainty so high, the presents are meager at best and the usual baking, feasts and drinks are reduced to one simple celebration.

Jesus would still be born, of course, but the festivities would suffer.

For many Muslims, Ramadan, their annual month of fasting which begins today, is a time of celebration similar to Christmas for Christians. Sure they don’t eat during the day (or drink/smoke/chew or kiss on girls who do. . . or don’t!), but the month is also a rich time of family gathering, eating after dark, and extra efforts to connect with and please God.

Most of Ramadan is worked out in the context of close, celebrated community. But not this year. I’d like you to join me in prayer for Muslims as they fast this month under the cloud of Corona. (Tweet this.)

Many Muslims are spiritually sensitive during Ramadan and earnestly seeking God. This year, that dynamic might be even increased due to the necessarily more private nature of the fast.

I’m concerned for kids this Ramadan. Can you imagine spending all day with your parents who’ve sworn off food, cigarettes and sex? I feel for the kids who will bear the wrath of their parents’ discomfort and deprivation. I know I’m guilty of venting personal frustration on my kids and. And that’s when I’m eating normal meals!

Please download this simple, crazy beautiful, one-page prayer guide for Ramadan. You are encouraged to freely print, share and distribute it as you wish.

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Quick Follow Up and Two Cool Ideas

About this time last year, I encouraged us all to buy a goldfish. No really, you can read about it here. The wee piscine beauty was to be a daily reminder to pray for Persians. I need to let you know my sweet little fishy is no more. I got up one recent morning to find he’d jumped out of his bowl to perish alone on the countertop. Thankfully, the living God is hearing our prayers and great numbers of  Persians are finding life in Jesus. Please continue to pray for them as Iran weathers challenging Covid 19 days.

Last week I encouraged you to help your kids, or ones you know, find a pen pal from a Muslim nation. My ten-year-old daughter has since been corresponding with a young woman in Istanbul! In contrast to the multi-week intervals with my British pen-pal when I was her age, they write back and forth daily. I’m not letting on with her, but I’m pretty jazzed about this.

If the thought crossed your mind that you’d like a pen pal from a Muslim nation, let me just say, “I love your mind!” Also, check this out: A highly qualified friend is offering a free one-hour training next week for just that! I signed up for Monday, 9 am central time. I’d love for you to do the training with me. If you register for that same slot, let me know. We’ll chat during the training!

When the training is over, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with Muslims who are looking for English speakers to chat with.

Finally, I came across this drool-worthy page of Moroccan snacks while doing research for an article on helping kids love the world during lockdown. I’m going to start with the Orange Salad and the Harsha!

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One Great Way to Connect Homebound Kids With Muslims

Are you scrambling like me? We’ve got three little kiddos who no longer go to school. While the television’s amazingly good at keeping them occupied, a tiny voice deep in my head says maybe that’s not best for the long haul! (If I’m wrong about that, please let me know!)

That concern, coupled with a relentless desire to see Muslims find life in Jesus, caused the following idea from my friend Aaron to detonate in my mind like that misguided gender reveal party in Florida!

In a draft of an article you can read here, Aaron suggests using some corona-home time to set your kids up with pen pals from Muslim nations.

He recommends the controlled environments of these three web sites:

Interpals, PenPal World, Global Penfriends

Each allows you to sign up for free, limit who your kids can interact with and search for pen pals in different parts of the world.

I helped my almost eleven year old get going last night with Global Penfriends. We set up her profile, she briefly described herself, her community and country, then we waited a couple hours for her profile to be approved. She then chose the Middle East as the region in which to search for someone her gender and age.

She found a young girl in Istanbul who declared a similar love for all things Harry Potter and they’ve begun to write.

I’m hoping two things result from this: 1. My daughter realizes in deep, wonderful and sober ways how different people and places are around this amazing planet. 2. Some young lass in Istanbul gets her first-ever friend who loves and follows Jesus.

As chaotically cool as the new Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons are, that would be better.


If I can pray for you during these challenging days, please let me know. 

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