As many of you are aware, Father recently provided me with the opportunity to spend two months overseas in Africa. While there I got to witness firsthand His faithfulness, provision, and providence. I’ve returned with more stories than I’m able to share in this short blog, but there is one that stands out vividly to me.
While my team and I were there, a large festival took place. This festival is celebrated throughout the Muslim world and involves three days of celebration during which everything closes, even grocery stores. In the days leading up to the festival, families will buy a sheep, then on the morning of the first day they slaughter the sheep in the street and eat specific portions of it each day. We had been prepared that things slowed down a lot during the festival and that we probably wouldn’t have any opportunities to meet new people. So, during the first morning we decided to walk around our neighborhood and lift it up to Father and ask Him for opportunities.
Walking through a large plaza, we noticed one of the many cafes was open, so we decided to stop in for coffee. While there, a gentleman sat down next to me, and I immediately felt I had to talk to him. I asked if he spoke English, which he did, and was able to spend the next two hours talking to him about my story, the Main Thing, and sharing stories from the Book.
The second day, we again were out walking and lifting up our city. The streets were entirely empty except for us, so I asked Father that He would provide an opportunity to be used today. As soon as I finished, I heard Mark talking with someone behind me. An older gentleman had joined us at some point and was engaging us in English. After a few minutes he invited us to his home for tea. When we arrived at his home, his son (who was my age) arrived at the same time. While we were relaxing in the salon (think living room), the father left, and we began sharing the Main Thing with the son. Partway through sharing the father returned, listened to us while we finished, and then began to talk about Islam and how Jesus couldn’t be both human and God.
After some time listening to him and asking questions about Islam, he again left to go to mosque, leaving us with his son. We then got to have tea and lunch with the son and hear a bit about his life. The last several years he has been away from home at university and hasn’t been practicing Islam for a while now, though his father doesn’t know. He told us he is “studying other religions to figure out which one is true before dedicating his life to one of them.” This blew us away and we were able to spend the time with him explaining the Main Thing in great detail, sharing our personal stories, and even some stories from the Book. He was very receptive though he said he wasn’t ready to follow Father just yet, so we encouraged him to keep learning and to read the Book.
The time during the festival was really impactful to me. We went into that time thinking we wouldn’t get to do much and Father vividly reminded us that He is in total control and can use us wherever and whenever despite the circumstance we can’t see past.