Clare & Amir Reach Out To Our Muslim Neighbours
Reaching out to people from other faiths with the truth of the Gospel is never easy.
However, Amir and Clare Arian, (nee McIntyre) have been called by God to that very task and have witnessed the Lord move in amazing ways. Clare was born ‘on the slopes of Slemish’ and gave her life to Jesus aged 12. Over the next decade, He began to prepare her for mission.
After serving at Malawi for seven years, God called her back to the UK where she undertook further study before going to work with Arab World Ministries in London.
Her husband, Amir was born into a practicing Muslim family both his father and older brother were Imans (Muslim clergy.)
By the age of 13 or 14, Amir began to ask questions about the purpose of life and our final destination when we die.
Unable to find answers to these within the Islamic faith, he became disillusioned and stopped practicing the religion at 15; by the time he was 17, Amir had become an atheist.
When he was 19, God brought a Christian friend into Amir’s life who talked to him regularly about many of the questions he had and introduced the young man to a different God from the one he had heard about in Islam.
Eventually, Amir’s friend gave him a Bible which he began to read.
Over the year that followed, Amir states that God ‘opened his eyes’ to who He really was and the price He paid to save him. This led Amir, then aged 20, to commit his life to the Lord.
Clare and Amir did not meet until many years later in 2008 when Clare working at a Christian community centre that reached out to Muslims in London. They first encountered each other at a party that was held there for believers from a Muslim background. By December of that year, they were engaged and by the following summer, the couple were happily married.
Fast forward seven years and the now have a four-year-old son called Jalal which means ‘glory’ and they work together for the Saviour through Hamsayeh International.
Hamsayeh means ‘neighbour’ in Farsi and was set up by Clare and Amir about five years ago mainly to reach Farsi speaking Muslims, that’s those from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
Revealing a little about how their ministry works on a practical level, the couple said: “Our goal is to see that believers from a Muslim background are equipped to reach out to people in their own language through a culture that they are familiar with.”
“We also reach out to the English speaking Churches to equip them and help them to reach out to their Muslim neighbours. We can see many Christians who have love and compassion for the Islamic community who come to get trained and then they reach out to their Muslim friends”, they added.
Over the past seven years, Clare and Amir have received many encouragements in their work. Five members of the Farsi-speaking fellowship group they run in London have committed their lives to Jesus as Saviour.
Many others are hungry to know more about that Gospel and Amir in particular takes delight in watching God transform people’s lives as they receive answers to their questions from the scriptures.
Amir’s own brother and sister-in-law have also come to know the Lord through the media wing of Hamsayeh International – a fact that has brought him deep personal joy.
Amongst the challenges that Clare and Amir face in the work are what they describe as ‘militant secularism’ within British society and a number of overly-liberal influences amongst Christian churches in the UK, whom, the couple suggest, ‘have lost their identity.’
There is also a shortage of Christians on the ground to reach out to the Muslim community.
- The family request prayer for themselves as they continue to serve – mainly that they would stay close to God, ‘eating and drinking of Him and His Word.’
- They also ask people to pray that the Muslims that they are in regular contact with would continue to want to know more about the Gospel and that those who are already saved would continue to grow in their faith.
You can read much more about Hamsayeh International and their ministry to the Muslim community on their website here.