Below is an account, hot off the press, of how God is working to shine the light of Christ into the darkness of the Muslim world through OM missionaries in Bangladesh.
OM has vocational training centers throughout Bangladesh that bring hope and change the lives of hundreds of men and women each year. Horim* is one such young man.
Horim joined our four-month electrical training program in 2010. Zed, the trainer, immediately knew that behind Horim’s shallow smile was a well of hurt and despair. As training progressed, Zed tried to get to know Horim better, but Horim remained closed and elusive. He was also half-hearted in his efforts to learn the new trade, and after two months, dropped out. Zed tried to contact him, but Horim did not want to hear from him.
However, that was not the end of the story. One day, quite recently, Horim returned to our center. He looked lonely; it was obvious that he was desperate and in great need. Opening up to Zed, his story unfolded. His mother and father had separated when he was just a small boy. Deeply hurt by their separation, he did not feel he belonged to anyone. Over the years, he had given his father a lot of trouble and now, once again, he had left home. He was penniless, homeless and hopeless. In sheer desperation he had turned to drugs and was now an addict.
Zed found Horim a place to stay, gave him some money for food, and got him a night job as a guard in an apartment block. In return, Horim had to agree to contact his father to let him know he was alright. Horim also decided to return to the electrical training: he now knew that if he could learn a trade, he would be able to earn much more money.
Since then, Zed has not only been teaching Horim how to be an electrician, but has also shared his life with him. Zed explained what motivated him to care for Horim, something Horim found inexplicable – he had never experienced such care before! Zed and Horim began reading God’s Word together, while Horim has started attending a local fellowship group. The change in Horim’s life is hard to believe.
Late one night, Zed’s door bell rang. A man stood outside, asking to come in. It was Horim’s father. Zed was unsure why he had come; he wondered whether he was upset with his son studying God’s Word. But that was not the case at all. Horim’s father had come to say “Thank you”, as he had seen an incredible change in Horim’s life and behavior.
As Horim’s father talked with Zed, and he too shared his problems, he finally said: “I have another son, whose situation is even worse than Horim’s. Would you also be willing for him to come to your training?” Zed praised God for the opportunity to help make a difference in a young man’s life, as he smiled his acceptance.
These are the ways in which hope, change and restoration are being brought to people’s lives through the different training centers in Bangladesh.
*name changed to protect identity