At one of our ministry meetings, a local believer named Usma* told us that he had recently brought his brother Rus*, who was a new believer, to meet local people. He intended this as a way to set an example of how to tell others about the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Rus watched his brother tell the story until the end, but but the person he was telling did not believe. Rus then urged the man on by saying, “In two days I’m coming back here, and by then you have to believe!”
We told Usma that he should train Rus to tell the Gospel politely and not force people to believe, as faith is God’s free gift to us. Usma conveyed this message to Rus, but because Rus was reluctant to learn from Usma, his younger brother, he then asked if he could come learn directly from us at our ministry. We agreed to disciple Rus directly, but on the condition that he continue with Usma’s group for worship. We are now discipling and training both of them at different times. We pay special attention to Rus, because he has a strong character and a lot of potential.
After some training, we brought Rus again to meet with other local people to give examples of how to present the Gospel story in a simple and polite manner. Lately, he has been able to tell to others by himself. Some of the people who heard the Gospel through Rus had seen his bad character from a time before he was a Christian, and it has affected the way people think about him. Because of this, he has to try hard to show that he has been changed for the better.
A short time after this, Usma and Rus told us about their youngest brother, Tal, who works as a religious teacher in one of the special schools of local religion. Tal was going to come home soon, and they planned to share the Gospel with him, even though they knew he would definitely oppose it. We encouraged them to share in spite of this potential for conflict and opposition, and we prayed for and encouraged them.
They met up with Tal at their home, and Rus began to tell him about their new beliefs and about Jesus. Before the story was over, Tal suddenly asked him to stop talking, and demanded to know where they heard these stories. He told his brothers that whoever had told them was spreading lies. Rus had hesitated because of Tal’s words, and for two days he could not sleep soundly.
On the fourth day of Tal’s visit, before he returned to the local religious school, Usma and Rus met with him again and told him that they were going to keep following Jesus no matter the risks. “We cannot stand back,” they said, “because this is the guidance God has given us. All of us love you so much, and we do not want you to go to Hell. God already showed us the way, and we have chosen to follow!” Tal did not want to hear about any of this, and he promised to bring his teacher to them to explain why they were wrong.
When we heard of the brothers’ commitment, we were deeply moved and amazed at the extraordinary work of God in their lives.
At our most recent ministry meeting, the two brothers shared that Tal often speaks at the religious ceremonies in their area about how his two brothers have converted to Christianity. This information was obtained from the village head, who had attended Tal’s program. That village head had already heard the Gospel story through Rus, and he wanted his sins to be forgiven by God and wanted to learn more. The village head reminded Rus and Usma that they needed to be careful, because local people were angry with them over their conversion.
*Names have been changed for security reasons