Becoming a Cross Cultural Witness

KayLyn Hopper Lead

"Ask anyone and they will tell you that I love to challenge Christians with the Great Commission to go and make disciples of every nation (Matt. 28: 19-20) so that all nations will be assembled before His throne (Rev. 7:9). Many of those nations are Muslim."

Professor KayLyn Hopper has been commending her DBU students with this challenge for 15 years. Through each course she teaches on the Hill, she provides a unique perspective on what it looks like to preach to every nation. A disciple-maker herself, Hopper began to spread the gospel to the Muslim community when she made the decision to move overseas after seeing a flyer at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"After many years working as a journalist and editor, the Lord redirected my journey to do something really difficult--to lay aside my own personal plans and begin preparation that would require a deeper level of trust in Him," Hopper shared. "This change would take me to a place on the other side of the world."

With a team from her school, Hopper traveled to Israel in preparation to help on an archeological excavation site in the region. After that first day under the hot Middle Eastern sun, she went back to her tent and began to question why God would bring her to this part of the world.

"Early that next morning, as I was complaining (I mean, praying) to the Lord, I wandered behind the camp (which was literally the backside of the desert) and noticed Palestinian Muslim men and women washing the pottery and coding unearthed artifacts from the excavation. They invited me to join them. I soon discovered the reason for coming; it was for them."

After her summer trip, she returned to the states and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. She then decided to return to the Middle East, asking God to allow her to reach the Muslim community. Some years later, Hopper moved to the Arabian Gulf to work in Dubai as an editor for the Middle East & International Review magazine, allowing her to continue her journalism career while witnessing to those of Islamic backgrounds.

"One day, I was covering an Arab Woman's Conference and I opened the hotel conference door and there, filled to overflowing capacity, were hundreds of veiled Muslim women," Hopper explained. "I had to laugh at the God-set up. The Lord reminded me of His promise that if I was faithful to just 'show up,' He would draw Muslims to me. The magazine provided me access to professional, career-focused Muslim women. Within just a few short months, these 'hidden women behind the veil' were meeting together in my home, drinking hot Arab coffee and listening to stories from the Bible about Jesus."

In 2004, Hopper returned stateside on furlough and was eventually offered to teach a course at DBU. This opportunity would allow her to bring her personal experiences into the classroom and to share what it looks like to preach the gospel to other nations. She continues to bring such insight to students at DBU, and has been for years, as she teaches courses like "Understanding the Islamic Faith," "Developing the Christian Mind," and "Integrating Faith and Culture."

She is also a frequent guest speaker and lecturer on Islamic culture and Muslim worldview through organizations like Encountering the World of Islam, World Christian Movement, and Gospel for Muslims. Through each course, she teaches and each speaking engagement she is a part of, Hopper is able to demonstrate how Christians can share their faith cross-culturally.

To her students, Hopper shares: "I recognize that the Lord is using me to challenge and equip you to go across the street, or around the world, to connect your passion to the nations through your chosen academic major in order to accomplish the purposes of God. My passion is helping to develop a deep profound awareness, appreciation, and love for the peoples in this world."

Written by Faith Myers

Faith Myers is a member of University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.

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