You never know what’s going to happen when you pray.
As many of you know, I love Muslims, have given most of my life in serving among Muslims, and spend a lot of time writing and talking about Muslims. All of this is with the goal of seeing them come to Christ and His Church expanded in their lives and lands. So, it’s not surprising that my heart has been burdened of late over the women in my life who have yet to know him.
So, I prayed this last week, asking the Lord to open opportunities for me to share and to open their hearts. The problem is, they didn’t show up this week at my class.
Yet, my two other newer students did, and that’s when God did something amazing.
My first student is a new believer and has so much joy in her heart, that it’s just spilling out of her, despite the struggles that surround her new reality. We were alone for a while before our second student came, and she told me, “I don’t care about the lesson, let’s just talk about Jesus.”
Oh, if we were all like that, how wonderful the world would be!
I readily agreed, but before we got very much further, my second new student walked in. She’s from a different country and different background, one that should know about Jesus, but may get hindered by tradition. I was hesitant to continue my conversation because of the obvious differences between the two women, so I pulled out Lesson 1, in my ESL material and asked them to talk to me about what they thought about America before and after coming to the country. That’s another blog in itself.
We progressed in our conversation until some mention of church came up, and my first student asked about the difference between evangelical and orthodox churches. I tried to avoid the question, but then my second pupil said, “I’m from the church, and I don’t understand; I want to know too.”
To make a long story short (too late, I know), woman one openly shared her love for Jesus with woman two, and the Gospel was clearly shared with woman two, who confessed that her faith in Christ was not from the point of her birth, but came at a later date in life when she realized the truth of the Gospel. Now knowing that I had two sisters in Christ with me, I shared my desire for our other two students to know Jesus, and we talked about how God has given us the task of sharing — making disciples of all nations.
Woman number two asked me where I go to church. I said, “Here.”
“Here?” she replied. “Is this a church?”
I laughed and told her that indeed it was a church, our church, and she was welcome anytime.
We ended our “lesson” with me praying for each of my sisters, for their needs, their loneliness in a new country, their walk with the Lord, and for our other two students to know Jesus. It was a beautiful moment.
As I drove home, I thought about her question, “is this a church?” I realized, the building is just a building, so she had every right to question. The people are the church. We were the church that night, as we looked at Scripture, shared each other’s needs, and prayed.
Sometimes, God intervenes in our routines and turns everything upside down. They may have learned a few English words that night, but in the end, the language didn’t matter — obedience to his will did, and I’m glad I stepped aside and let him work.
Are you praying for the souls in your area of influence? If you do, be ready for God to intervene in a way you might not expect.
Grace and Peace