I met Sukru* in one of our trainings in the Middle East. He found it surprising that someone from a foreign country would speak his language.** This allowed him to trust me and start to build a friendship with me. We exchanged phone numbers and began a long-distance friendship since we live 90 km from each other.
I always finished our conversations with “May my Lord bless you.” One day he asked me, “Who is ‘My Lord?’” I didn’t hesitate in my response. I said, “Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, is my Lord.”
We then began a deep conversation about the Gospel, faith, grace, and hope. Sukru is a writer and quite the rational thinker – who tends to question everything. In our conversation, I had to refine my answers in a way that would give a reason for my faith, in a personal and logical manner, that wouldn’t cause him to over question what I was explaining.
Sukru began to investigate on his own. The conversations continued over time and after a while, we were able to meet and pray together. He told me, “I trust more than anything in my reasoning and in my own logic.”
I responded to him with a metaphor: Reasoning and our own thinking can sometimes take us to places that we don’t want to go, and we can find ourselves like a ship on high seas, without direction. And, like ships, we need a lighthouse to guide us, a light outside of ourselves that we can look at and use to find our direction amidst the storms in life.
He agreed with my point and asked me what my lighthouse is? I responded, “Sukru, I have already told you many times, Jesus and His Word are the lighthouses in my life. I read the Bible, the Gospels, and I will continue to do so. I know Jesus has entered my life, as when I think about him, read, or hear about His life, I experience new feelings of peace inside of me.”
The journey continues. I have introduced Sukru to some friends of mine who are national believers, with whom little by little, he is developing friendships. A is shy and doesn’t open up quickly to others, but I am encouraging him to participate in gatherings with other believers in the country. I am sure that He who began a good work, will complete it to the end in Sukru’s life.
*Name has been changed for security purposes
** Because of the lack of indigenous Christian workers in Islamic countries, Latin Americans have taken up the challenge to reach Muslims for Christ. They are well suited for ministry among Muslims, having many cultural similarities such as their view of family, time and relationships.