Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? By Tom Doyle with Greg Webster
Pastor Tom Doyle, full time missionary in the Middle East and Central Asia has spent over 11 years spreading the good news of Jesus Christ among Muslims. In his time in ministry, he has witnessed many Muslims who had specific dreams and visions of Jesus. Despite the Muslim rule of law in many countries that says that if you convert to Christianity, death will be your end, many Muslims are pursuing Jesus after having these powerful dreams of him. Yet, as Pastor Doyle attests, Jesus is awakening Muslim culture in powerful ways.
One of the great things about this book is that you get a glimpse of Muslim people getting glimpses of Jesus through dreams in many different countries. The book is divided by chapter but also by country, chronicling the work of God in such countries as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria. We get a sense of the difficult situation in these Middle East countries through Doyle’s description, he writes, “Because 1.5 billion Muslims look to Saudi Arabia as home base for their faith, Saudi Arabia rises to the top when it comes to “zero tolerance” toward other religions” (45). Yet, as Doyle points out, there are some advantages to ministering in these nations, as most Muslim governments do not allow converts to change their religion on their ID, therefore allowing Christians to enter places like Mecca at will, providing opportunities to pray, witness, and reach out to fellow Saudis.
One of the great things about this book is that it challenges us to check our preconceptions about Muslims at the door and offer prayers to God on their behalf. No, not every Muslim is a terrorist, Doyle makes an assertion that only about 10 % of Muslims align themselves with extreme positions.
As Doyle recounts Aisha’s story, we get a glimpse of what happens when a Muslim encounters Jesus in a dream. “She instantly knew He loved her deeply. And in that instant, she also knew who He was. Jesus stood in her tent” (65). She slept that night in a tent near the Kaaba stone, the holy place of Islam, and instead of following after Muhammad more intently, she met Jesus. Having a sense that her cousin Reem was having similar visions, she met with her and found out that Reem was having similar dreams. This contact was only the beginning of a ministry to bring Bibles from Jordan into Saudi Arabia. What is so powerful about these stories that are recounted in this book is that the visions and dreams always lead to actions, always lead to a high measure of faithful living to Jesus, no matter what the cost.
At one point, Pastor Doyle asks the question that many believers ask when reading these amazing stories of Muslims becoming Christians by writing, “How do you know that these people truly became believers?” “My answer is simple: “Because they are willing to die for Jesus.” That’s a good litmus test, don’t you think” (242). If this doesn’t cut you to the heart about the plight of these believers, than what will? I was amazed and awestruck, challenged and called to pray for these faithful followers of Jesus. Now, what can I and we do to help these believers in their gospel witness? I think this is where we need to step outside our comfortable lives and pray that God would change us to stand in the gap for these brothers and sisters.
Much thanks to Thomas Nelson and the Book Sneeze program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review.