Missionary friends visited this week. We have supported them for 20-25 years in their various dentistry-and-Bible-teaching endeavors in the Philippines, Senegal, and now Brownsville, TX. I asked about the penetration of the gospel into different cultures - were there aspects that were adopted almost immediately and effortlessly, while others were longer in taking root? Does this vary from culture to culture?
This caught them on the hop a bit. They clearly had not thought of the question quite this way before, but they were quite able to pick up the thread. They noted much more the negative side of this, that the clannish, extended-family, tribal cultures of the world were particularly resistant to the gospel, no only because they would be cutting themselves of from their group, but because the conversion to an exclusivist Christianity implied the acceptance of the idea that all these ancestors and beloved people were condemned and in torment. A kindly thought on their part, in many ways, though evasive. If the claim of a religion is true, then refusing to acknowledge that doesn't change the truth, after all.
They described that this was especially true in the Muslim world. But, they mentioned, there were always odd occurrences, of people who had dreams of Jesus (Issa) or of angels, telling them to seek out my friends and ask them questions. I asked them if they had heard of the "Dreams of Issa" prayer focus, that Muslims would be sent dreams and visions, as this seemed one of the few ways that culture is approached. They had not heard of the prayer focus, but knew immediately what I was referring to. Such stories occur regularly in Muslim lands.
So pray of Dreams of Issa.