Thursday, July 24, 2014

SU Student in the Middle East

What were you doing?

We spent a month there and the entire time just built relationships, spending time with the women. The first week or so was meeting people, and the following three weeks was hanging out, having meals etc with the ones we felt were most 'people of peace' and receptive to hearing the Gospel. The Lord was gracious to us with the people we met, who we had common threads with. For example, two of us played on the Samford soccer team, and women there don't play sports however we happened to meet a rare group of girls our age who played pickup in the park very late at night. We were able to play with them every week and become friends though soccer! The women we met were incredible- though definitely a segregated culture our friends were in med school, engineers and professors. 

In terms of sharing the Gospel and making disciples, the labour is very hard and the Muslim culture and beliefs are very much ingrained in them. While they enjoy talking about Islam, it was difficult talking with the women; they could often explain what they believe but not so much why. They don't question the Quran and don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

What were the encouraging signs of what you were doing?

Of all our time there, we were daily able to weave gospel threads, and we shared the Gospel and our testimonies a few times. The most 'visible' fruit we saw was one of our friends, who is a young professor, asking for a Bible to read. She had read it before, but someone had taken it away from her. She was a pleasure to spend time with because she was blunt and honest and asked good questions. At one point, she agreed that being Muslim is burdensome because they do have to take all their 'sins' upon themselves (never knowing if they are going to heaven) and they don't have a Savior like us to do that. She said that of all the prophets, Jesus was the one she was most looking forward to meeting. 

We learned alot from the trip, that it is ultimately the Father that draws people to himself. The girl we had given the Bible to, had heard the Gospel from three different people in her lifetime before she was ready to ask for a book. So we just hoped to plant seeds and ask questions, love and listen to those we met.