Every person's context is different and under the Holy Spirit's leading, each witness we give needs to be different as well. A MENA tentmaker shares some of the opportunities she’s had to share even as she watches the Holy Spirit leading in different ways.
SOME ARE SKEPTICAL
God opened the door for me to have many spiritual conversations with two sisters I befriended soon after arriving in my host country. One day they called their grandmother, an imam, to get information to refute my claims about Christianity and Islam. Instead, she backed up almost everything I had shared about the Bible. The girls were incredulous that I knew so much, because they knew I was a new believer myself. They had grown up in Islam and hadn’t even read the Quran!
When we talked about studying the Quran and the Bible together, they declared they would only study the Bible that I study from because they could see that I had the original Bible, the true Bible, while their other Christian friends surely had the corrupted scripture. I pray that time will unfold their interest and confidence in the Scriptures I share, and that they will be open to studying what the Bible says.
SOME WANT TO PRAY
I also have become very close to a blind girl, a victim of conflict between governments. She often pestered me to join her while she smoked shisha. I always took it as an opportunity to share about the importance of caring for our bodies and maintaining good health.
One day, while we were talking about shisha and healthful living, she suddenly asked me about Jesus. So I took her on a journey that began with the Fall of Adam and Eve and ended with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Her response was instant. “You mean He died and then He rose from the dead? But the Qur’an says..?”
As I asked her question after question about this theory, the Qur’an’s contradictory statements became clear. She admitted that she had never thought about these things; she just wanted to know the truth. I invited her to pray to Jesus to reveal the truth to her. She asked me how. So I had the privilege of teaching her how to pray. As we were closing our conversation and she shared how much she enjoyed it, she expressed an interest in owning her own bible. I could not find a Bible in braille, but I’m so glad I could provide her an audio Bible.
SOME ARE SILENTLY QUESTIONING
Partially because of the language barrier, and partially because of her quiet personality, our spiritual interaction with our Arabic teacher began more indirectly. We befriended her, cooked with her, laughed together. We even went on a few field trips. We saw her not only opening up to us, but to Jesus as well.
As we began to read Bible stories, she saw how passionate we were about our faith and asked us how much we believed in God. She quietly revealed that she had lost her faith in Islam. We started sharing our favorite Bible passages with her. She especially liked John 10—the story of the Good Shepherd. I shouldn't have been surprised; it is a picture that has been very powerful for sharing with my Muslim friends.
We gifted her a Bible, a copy of The Desire of Ages and other inspirational reading material that I know will be a blessing to her. She was overjoyed. Recently, during one of our last Arabic classes, we began discussing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Although she had usually said “All you Christians believe that Jesus Christ sacrificed for you,” this time we noticed she said “Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for US.”
It was a small declaration that did not go unnoticed! Then, on the last day of class, she said, “I am really going to miss all of you. You are the best and greatest people I know. This isn’t the end for us…” And I'm praying the same! --NJ