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Special Permission

Tariq seemed destined to be a troublemaker. Most of his life, he was in conflict with the police, first as a rebellious and reckless youth and then as a follower of Jesus and preacher of the Gospel in a strictly Muslim society. In recent years, Tariq regularly faced opposition to his faith and his ministry.

A few months back, prior to COVID-19, he decided to bring together several small churches to host a baseball camp for local children. Tariq knew he was taking a risk. “First, I didn’t know if people even knew what baseball was!” he said. “Second, I didn’t know how people would respond to the Gospel.”

The camp drew over fifty children from the area. All heard the Gospel, and most prayed to receive Christ. However, when the broader community heard about what happened, some became angry and vandalized the building that Tariq had rented for the camp. 

“I called the police,” said Tariq, “thinking that they
would help.” 

When the police found out that it was a Christian camp, instead of helping Tariq, they took him and his team down to the police station for interrogation, finger-printing and further harassment. They were later released by police, but Tariq was discouraged. 

Within weeks, COVID-19 turned the world upside-down, including Tariq’s country and community. But instead of becoming more difficult for Tariq and his churches, the pandemic opened a new opportunity for them. 

“Our community was in lock-down,” he explained. “with overwhelming needs for delivery of food and transportation to hospitals. The government could not cope, so they started to ask for volunteers. It was a perfect opportunity!” 

Before long, Tariq and members of seven MB churches in the area began to assist the local authorities by supporting families in need. It not only gave them opportunity to serve their community in practical ways, but it opened a door for them to share more freely about their faith in Jesus. 

Eventually, Tariq’s service and leadership caught the attention of the mayor of the city. Ironically, at the mayor’s request, Tariq was assigned to work directly with the police department!

Tariq was thrilled. The same authorities that had opposed him and harassed him were now giving him special permission to go wherever he needed to go. “They gave me a special pass to hang in my car,” he said, “and they gave me lists of families to visit and help. Now we are working together. The police have become our new partners in ministry.”


Please pray for Tariq and the churches within his network, that they would continue to find favor in the eyes of local authorities so that the Gospel would be proclaimed and the people within this country would have the freedom to respond to Jesus and gather as believers.

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