Using Play to Replace Laws and Rituals with Grace

A team of passionate disciples use fun and physical activities to open doors into hearts held captive by laws and rituals.

From across Malik’s country, his team came together to grow in their own faith and in their readiness to share the gospel with others. Thirty-five young followers of Jesus know how play and sports pose powerful tools for engaging youth around the Middle East. Simply drop a soccer ball in a refugee camp, school courtyard, or neighborhood, and connections begin with every tap of a foot. Lift a colored parachute, and children and teenagers come running. Malik and his team use fun and physical activities to open doors into communities and hearts held captive by laws and rituals.

The Power of Laws and Rituals in the Middle East

In Malik’s home nation, as in many around the region, most people follow Islam. Others follow Coptic traditions. Both function with laws and rituals of their own, instead of grace found in salvation through faith in Jesus.

  • Followers of Islam believe “submission” to “Sharia,” which means “the way,” leads to salvation.
  • Coptic Christians believe rituals, rather than a relationship with Jesus, lead to salvation.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

The Power of Forgiveness in the Middle East

Malik’s team members understand the power of living by laws and rituals. They all come from one or a combination of these religious systems—Islam or Coptic Christianity. Malik teaches truth from God’s Word, helping his team share about the pain they know from growing up without grace. They’ve wrestled first-hand with forgiveness.

Since they now know what it is to have a relationship with the true God, they’re passionate about helping other Middle Eastern youth discover the gospel of grace. In places like Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Yemen, conflict and deprivation prepare hearts for the message of hope.

Doors are open to Malik in some of the hardest places where Muslim and Coptic people are searching for and finding Jesus. Would you help Malik get into these areas with the gospel?