As a missionary, Tom Doyle has made dozens of trips to the Middle East. But when he first heard the stories of God working in a supernatural way there, he had trouble believing them.
Then, in the words of one of his friends, “God showed me that my theology does not determine his actions,” Doyle and co-author Greg Webster write in the just-released Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World.
Doyle fell in love with the Middle East on his first biblical tour of the Holy Land. After 20 years as a pastor in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, he felt called to full-time ministry in the Middle East in 2001 and accepted e3 Partners‘ offer to direct its ministry there. He has since become a vice president for e3, a church-planting ministry that works in more than 40 countries.
The book is a collection of never-before-told stories from the front lines of the campaign to bring the gospel to the world of Islam. In his 11 years working in the Middle East, Doyle has met former Muslims who were first introduced to Jesus through either a dream or a vision.
He included their stories in the book, as well as others documented by close friends in the region. “If we couldn’t verify the experience, we left it out—no Christian fairy tales here,” Doyle writes.
In one amazing story, a Muslim kidnaps a Christian in Cairo, one of the most dangerous places in the world to spread the gospel, and takes him at gunpoint to an abandoned warehouse. Inside, he meets a group of 10 imams, who tell him they have been having dreams about Jesus and ask him to teach them about the Bible.
Stories about dreams and visions have become increasingly common in the Middle East. Research suggests that one out of three or four Muslims has such an experience before becoming a Christian. Doyle points out that these dreams and visions merely open the door for Muslims to hear about Jesus in countries where spreading the gospel is forbidden.
Other barriers to the gospel in the Middle East include illiteracy—Muslims there often couldn’t read the Bible, even if one was available—and Western stereotypes about terrorists. Doyle notes that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving.
“I believe Islamic terrorism is Satan’s attempt to keep the gospel message away from Muslims,” he writes.
Another story takes the reader inside Mecca, the holiest of Muslim cities, where, if found out, non-Muslim visitors are executed. Even in Mecca, it turns out, God is moving.
“More Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus today than ever before,” Doyle writes. “In fact, we believe more Muslims have become followers of Jesus in the last 10 years than in the last 14 centuries of Islam.”
Ultimately, the book “reveals the most important movement of our time—the movement of God.”