What would it be like to live in a nation where it’s a crime to convert to Christianity—and where your family carries out the punishment? And what would it be like to serve there as a Christian missionary? Would there be much fruit? How would you share the gospel—and how would God show up?
This is reality for “Reema Goode” and her family. They serve in a closed country in the Middle East, working to see their Muslim friends and neighbors come to know Jesus Christ. And in Which None Can Shut, Goode shares how God is opening doors in the Muslim world and giving her and her family incredible opportunities to be a strong witness for Christ.
Which None Can Shut is not a “how-to” book for evangelizing Muslims, although there are certainly some principles that can be gleaned from the pages. For example, because of the cultural importance of hospitality, Goode and her husband have been able to have several conversations about the gospel with their neighbors as they’ve been in each other’s homes and built friendships.
Rather than serving as a “how-to” book, it serves more as an encouragement that ministry in these nations is bearing real fruit and offers fuel for increased prayer for missionaries to Muslims. Goode’s stories of how God is at work are incredible to read. She shares how she was ambushed at a friend’s home & threatened—but the words God gave her to speak to her attacker, Hamdan, left him reeling and possibly a secret believer in Christ (pp. 24-37). She tells how she was able to have a rather Elijah-esque showdown between herself and the local religious leaders when Dini and Hilma (her friend Mozi’s twin sisters) were afflicted by a jinn that only left them when she prayed in Jesus’ name (chapter 6). She tells stories of visions, dreams and powerful works of the Holy Spirit in the lives of men and women in the town they live in. It’s truly incredible to read.
Perhaps one of the most interesting stories she shares is how a Muslim evangelistic event turned into a powerful opportunity for Reema to share the gospel to a room of more than 40 women (chapter 4). The speaker, a woman named Fatima, railed against Christianity for nearly two hours, with only two non-Muslims in the room—Reema and another Christian missionary, Diane. At the end of her argument, purple-faced, Fatima shook her finger in Reema’s face and said:
“It is obvious that you Christians are not the people of God because you’re all so different. We Muslims all dress the same and pray the same. We’re unified. You’re inconsistent! For one thing, some of you drink and some of you don’t drink. What does the Bible actually say about alcohol?” (p. 68)
This provided Reema with the perfect opening to clear up some misconceptions about what a Christian actually is. She explained the truth of the Bible—that it’s one book with a single message: the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ. She shared how the Bible explains clearly that Jesus is, in fact, God. And as she spoke, hands shot up in the air and a forty minute question-and-answer session began, lasting well past the dinner announcement.
This story and all the stories that Goode shares in Which None Can Shut are a reminder that the world is hungry for the Word of God—that the gospel is powerful, that it transforms and Christ alone has the power to save. It’s also more than a little convicting as we’ve had a couple of instances where Muslim members of our community have invited us over to their homes out of the blue (one was a man I talked to for literally five minutes at the walk-in clinic one day while waiting to see the doctor). Were we shutting down something that God wanted to do out of the assumption that it wasn’t a serious offer? Were they only being polite? There’s a lot to think about here.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to have read Which None Can Shut. I’d encourage any who desire to see men and women come to know Christ—especially those from Muslim backgrounds—to read it for themselves and allow Goode’s stories to bolster their prayers.
Title: Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of Gods Miraculous Work in the Muslim World
Author: Reema Goode
Publisher: Tyndale (2010)