Muslim world. Christian Faith.

I’ve traveled to the pretty gold temples of Thailand, The Hindu shrines in Malaysia, the old stunning ruins of the largest religious monument in the world- in Cambodia (which was originally built as  a Hindu temple and later used for Buddhism.)  I have lived in Korea and visited countless temples where they still worship buddha. I’ve walked between the actual gold leaf beautiful towers of  Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar– the same country where I later got flowers thrown at me and told that I was “no lucky lucky” because I said I was a Christian.  I have visited one of the largest mosques in the world, and countless Catholic cathedrals in Europe. Now,  we’ve called Morocco home for some time and it’s a Muslim country through and through …there is absolutely no doubt about that.

The call to prayer goes off five times daily.

I’ve seen thousands of men pray in the streets during Ramadan.

They use phrases to end or begin almost every sentence – Hamdulah and Inshallah that translates in English to something like “Praise God” & “God Willing.”

I’ve witnessed men praying on their prayer rugs outside- pausing their routine of selling vegetables, driving vans, or guarding the cars on the streets.

Everywhere I go I see women fully covered- sometimes from head to toe and other times just their hair.

Before moving to Morocco I had never met another Muslim in my life. I had never known what holidays they celebrate, what their traditions are, or that this religion shapes and is embedded in every single aspect of life here. Every last bit.

Living here as an American we often get the question of why we picked Morocco as a place to call home. After that question we often get: Is it safe? Or aren’t there terrorist groups there? and then finally we often hear: What’s it like to live in a Muslim world?

Living in a Muslim world as a Christian is completely and utterly eye opening. It’s hard and it’s messy and it’s frustrating at times. I have never felt LESS in control than I have living in Morocco– and to be honest most days I have also never felt more safe. I’ve never prayed more in my entire life. I’ve never had to trust the lord more than I have the two years we have been here. I’ve never had to lean on God, talk to him as much as I do now, and rely on his faithfulness more than I have had to then while we have lived in Morocco. I’ve never been more inspired to live a life of Christian faith more boldly and proudly than I have since we moved here. Do I still have doubts about why it can be so dang hard? Oh, I absolutely, do. Do I still get upset or angry that it’s been SO HARD at times? Yes, yes I do. Living in a Muslim world has changed me as a woman of faith. This I am sure of.

These people who call themselves Muslim have taken us in. They have fixed things in our home, they have smiled at us, and they have helped us navigate this confusing/chaotic place time and time again. They have joked with us and called us “brother” and “sister.” These are the people we work alongside each day. I’ve stayed in their homes, eaten their epically amazing food, and that one time near the Sahara desert we were invited inside their family home for cous cous Friday. They’ve celebrated with us when we announced our pregnancy and they have invited us for dinner and talked us through some really hard work stuff. They’ve shared breaking their fast with us and taken the time to show us their beautiful country and shown us the meaning of true hospitality. They have loved us as their own and they know that we don’t share their faith.

I find myself praying for them and talking to God about them multiple times a day because they remind me that people are in fact, GOOD.

We still struggle. a lot. Sometimes I still swear (just ask my sweet coworkers- HA!)  when I am fired up about frustrations of life here or when things go wrong.  I still seek and desire the comfort and convenience that our life in America brought us. I miss our family so much some days it hurts my heart. I especially miss dill pickles, candles, and celebrating holidays with our loved ones.  I still wonder why our days can so often feel so routine or so mundane. but this I know with certainty: God has us here in Morocco, a truly Muslim country, for a very very distinct purpose. I want to honor him in wherever he has gone before us for our next place to call home. and in all we do.

So when you ask me how living in a Muslim country has been I want to tell you it’s been so epically awesome. It’s been so much more than I ever thought it would be and most importantly I would tell you this:

My Christian faith is immensely stronger because we’ve lived in a Muslim country. 

Comments

  1. Very nicely said! We are looking forward to this new experience ourselves. We learn so many things from other peoples cultures even if we don’t always agree with it but we learn from it!

    Ruth