Ethan and I sat down for lunch with “Tim” in the student union. Tim is an adherent of Sufi Islam. He’s from the Middle East, but he’s a student for a couple years here in Boston. And so, while here, he’s been starting to learn a little about Christianity. When I met Tim, he had already read all of the Gospel of John and had pages and pages of questions for us.
We answered some of the questions, and talked about the differences between Islam and Christianity, and looked at Paul’s explanation of the gospel in Romans 1-3, but mostly we just listened and got to know Tim.
Near the end of our time, Tim said to us, “OK, I’ve been reading about Jesus. And I can see the attractiveness of Him. And so if I grew up in America with no spiritual background, I could see myself becoming a Christian and following Jesus. But I didn’t grow up in America. I grew up in a Muslim country in the Middle East. And I have experienced God. And so I am trying to follow God through Islam. Why would I become a follower of Jesus?”
“That’s a great question,” I said. “You know, I don’t think it’s a lack of information that will keep you from following Jesus.” I told Tim about my friends Julie and Christina. When they were students at Harvard, they first had all of their intellectual questions answered. But at a certain point, God needed to show up. And he did for both of them. “I know that in Muslim countries, Jesus often shows up in dreams to draw people into relationship with Him.”
“God did show up to me in a dream,” Tim said. “He said I should follow Him. And so that’s why I’ve been more serious about my faith in Islam.”
I can’t help but wonder: “are Ethan and I all part of the answer to Tim’s dream?” If that’s the case, then, as part of our team, so are you.
We do go to the world. In fact, we’re headed back to the Middle East this summer. But the world comes to us. Thanks for the critical part you play in reaching the people of the world for Christ.
Ethan also suggested that connecting with a follower of Jesus who was from Tim’s country might be helpful too. So a week later, Ethan, Tim, and our friend “Ali” got together to talk. What an amazing treat that meeting was. Ethan and I have watched Ali over the last couple years as he has started following Jesus. And now to watch him explaining the gospel to Tim. So much fun!
Above: “Ali,” Brian, and a bunch of our guys get warm after an epic snowball fight. Anything to bring men to Jesus.
Ali got to meet Tim just before he left America to head back to his home country. What a privilege it has been to journey with Ali spiritually. I got an e-mail from him the other day:
“It was my pleasure to know you guys… Oo man you guys have made the biggest impact in my life by showing me the truth…”
That’s not just a message to me. It’s a message to you too!
Loving our Adventurous Lord,
Brian and Malisa
p.s. three pictures we’d love you to see: Eliza at 5 months and Sydney celebrating her 3rd Birthday as Princess Anna from Frozen.