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Tom and JoAnn Doyle, Women Who Risk

Tom and JoAnn Doyle with Greg Webster, Women Who Risk: Secret Agents For Jesus In The Muslim World (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2021), 240 pages, ISBN 9780785233466.

Tom Doyle was a pastor. About twenty years ago he and his wife, JoAnn, felt a call to be missionaries to the Middle East. They are the founders of Uncharted Ministries ( If you go to the website you will see that they have a burden to share the gospel with two groups of people that many feel are difficult to reach, the Jewish people and Muslims. Presenting Jesus to these groups can be especially challenging. The Doyles reach out to them wherever they can. Often this outreach takes place in countries that many western Christians would be afraid to go to. In Women Who Risk, the authors share the stories of women they have met in various countries in the Middle East. Tom has also written other books that deal with the experiences of believers in this part of the world (see pages xvii-xviii in Women Who Risk).

The book begins with a section called “An Unstoppable Force.” One topic addressed in its pages is Satan’s war on women; this has been going on since Genesis 3 (page xx). The authors go on to say that once women come to Jesus, they can become a force to be reckoned with. This is happening in the Muslim world, women are influencing others for Jesus (page xxii). The Doyles call women “the spiritual gatekeepers of their families” (page xix). The chapters that follow demonstrate their influence.

The main body of the book consists of seven chapters. In each chapter the reader is introduced to a Muslim woman somewhere in the Middle East. In some cases the reader will also meet those who helped them in their journey to Jesus. Due to security concerns the names of the Muslim women and some of the details of their stories story have been changed in order to protect them (page xix). When you read their stories you will understand why.

The accounts in this book are quite varied and have different outcomes. In chapter 1 a Muslim woman became a follower of Jesus after being set free from jinns, that is, demons (pages 1-4). She was tormented by them. This woman’s father was a sheikh and he trained imams, Muslim clerics (page 4). A Muslim coworker told her if she wanted help with her problem she should go to a church (page 3). She met a pastor and his wife, they prayed for her, and she was set free from the jinns and became a believer (pages 8-9). Her father died at about the same time and her new found faith earned her the wrath of her mother (pages 9-10, 18-19). However, through a divinely orchestrated series of events this young woman led her mother to the Lord (page 22). You need to read this story, it is truly amazing!

Not all of the stories have as happy an ending as the one I mentioned in the previous paragraph. In chapter 7 the reader will met a Muslim woman who became a believer after seeing Jesus in Mecca at the hajj, which is a major annual gathering for Muslims (pages 165-168). She shared her experience with a longtime friend and it started her friend’s journey toward Jesus. The Christian women encouraged her friend to pray to Jesus, this friend asked Jesus to appear to her in a dream that night, and He did (pages 171-174). The woman who was a believer took her friend to an underground church meeting (pages 176-179). As a result of her dream, the love of the people, and a Scripture passage that she read at the church meeting; her friend became a believer (pages 177-179). When the church met, outsiders were led to believe that the people were gathering to watch a soccer game (pages 175-176). The women enjoyed the meetings. In time the family of the woman who came to Christ first become suspicious that she had become a Christian (pages 183-184). One of her brothers followed her to a meeting of the underground church and joined her in the meeting (pages 184-185). Though the group did not pray or read the Bible while he was present he believed she had converted. The woman was pretty sure that her days were numbered. Because of this, she fled the country in order to escape becoming the victim of an honor killing. So she left her family behind. But she went on to minister to Muslims in another place in the world, the United States (page 191).

The book contains an epilogue which highlights some of the important lessons that can be gleaned from the book. These lessons are: Danger is Temporary, Pray for Miracles and Expect Them, and Prayer is for the Long Haul. The authors also offer some information for those who wish to be more involved in reaching Muslims.

There are some recurring themes in this book. You will find that prior to their conversions some of these women wanted to kill their husbands. When you read their stories you will understand why. They were humiliated. They were verbally and physically abused. Not all Muslims mistreat their wives (page xxi), but in this volume you will meet some who were ill-treated. You will also find the supernatural in this book. There are accounts of Jesus appearing, in dreams and in person, at least one case of divine healing, and there are stories of Jesus bringing food to people in times of need. One very important take away from this book is the resolve that the women have to be faithful to Jesus. They do this even though it is extremely dangerous to be a Christian in their countries. Their examples are truly inspiring. This book demonstrates clearly that God is moving powerfully today among Muslims.

Reviewed by John Lathrop


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Category: Ministry, Summer 2021

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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