I was reluctant to start this book. It presents a challenge that gets to the core of the world today, and a mission field that can be dangerous.
Austia, the main female character, teaches an English as a Second Language class in her community and many of her students are Muslim women. She becomes friends with some.
“It isn’t a love for the Muslims that drives me to serve them,” Austia says. “It’s my love for Him” (meaning Jesus). “We have to look for opportunities to model Christ’s love to them.”
What makes this an exceptional novel is the author, Nikki Arana. She says she felt called to reach out to Muslims who live and work among us and to be a vessel to give them what Islam can never give. But she wondered what good it would do to give them the gospel only to have them murdered. So she became involved in helping former Muslim women in Egypt who became Christians find safe houses. Within two years, all were dead so Nikki turned her focus to America.
Notice her book’s dedication: “To Hasna, who lives in the basement of an abandoned building in downtown Los Angeles. Rats often wake her from her sleep. She is a fugitive. Hunted day and night because she has committed a capital offense. She is a follower of Jesus Christ.”
The Next Target begins with a murder of a young Muslim female convert to Christianity. Although the book is fiction, it opens our eyes to the need to pray for laborers in the harvest field. We also need to pray for those who accept Jesus Christ as Savior. He came to earth, lived among us, died and rose again, to give anyone who accepts His love and turns from sin abundant life here and eternal life forever and ever.