Jane* is part of a church-planting team with SIM in Central Asia hoping to start a church amongst a minority people group. She and her team-mates look for ways to introduce Jesus that are culturally resonant.
Over the past few months, I have felt God prompting me to fast, so I began fasting one day a week. As this year's Ramadan season approached, I felt prompted to fast in a more significant way. I decided, following the practice of our local Muslim minority group, to abstain from food until the evening.
I did not have any expectations of what would happen during this time, but God surprised me.
We live in an environment where local people are rarely open to considering the gospel. We are intentional with sowing spiritual seeds, but rarely have - or expect to have - the opportunity for in-depth conversations about Jesus, religion or spirituality.
But during this time, I had the opportunity to tell a friend I was fasting during Ramadan - just like her. She was elated and we had a 45-minute conversation about Jesus. We discussed what fasting meant to her, and I shared what it meant to me. She noted that her people fasted out of duty, whereas I fasted out of love.
I am usually not a dreamer, but following that discussion I had a dream in which I decided to cut my hair. In my dream, as I turned my head sideways, my face became the face of one of the local Ewe* people.
My friend often shares dreams with me, so I shared this strange one with her. She was touched. People here take dreams very seriously and she instantly saw the meaning.
"Clearly you have a true love in your heart for my people", she said. "Maybe you realised this while fasting."
Indeed, God has given me a love for her and her people, which she could discern through our conversations.
The dream has been the start of more conversations with my friends about dreams, evil spirits, and a relationship with God. I believe that fasting created the bridge to these conversations, and I have prayed for more opportunities to arise in the weeks and months ahead.
To see how you could pray for Muslims please click here.