By: Katie Messer
While seated at a table within a crowded restaurant in the Middle East, Kaw-Thar quickly adjusted her black hijab around her face to hide a stray hair that had come loose before nervously asking her next and most poignant question, “All this is interesting, but who do you say Jesus Christ is?”
Knowing the risk of answering such a question, the young Christian silently prayed for wisdom as her Muslim friend slid her cell phone across the table closer to her. Was this a set up? It was illegal to speak of Jesus Christ in a Muslim country. The young woman was aware that she could be deported, jailed, or even worse. Yet, the young foreigner could not deny in her heart of hearts that this was why she had traveled to this foreign land. It was for such a moment as this that the young woman had been willing to leave all of the comforts of her homeland and gone to great lengths to genuinely invest in those of other cultures. This was her moment indeed; this was her moment to speak of her Savior.
As the young foreigner felt a peace to share everything the Lord was placing on her heart, she began to speak. “Who do I say Jesus Christ is? Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He is the one and only Son of God. He is the Second person of the Triune Godhead. He is my Lord and my Savior.”
Kaw-Thar listened intently as the young foreigner took a sip of her steaming tea. Kaw-Thar squinted her eyes slightly as if trying to read the response of the young foreigner seated across from her. This young Muslima had been astounded to learn previously in this evening’s shared meal, that the young foreigner had not only had dreams and visions—just as she herself had experienced—but had a personal relationship with the God of all things! Kaw-Thar was desperate for answers. Her life was in shambles. Her husband had left her for another woman, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and refusing treatment—saying that if Allah willed for her to die, she would accept it. Yet, Kaw-Thar could not accept it! She and her son, Abdul Aziz, were living with her mother in the midst of this diagnosis and recent divorce. It just couldn’t be the end for her mother—she was Kaw-Thar’s only support system.
Kaw-Thar shared with the young foreigner that she had previously checked into other religions such as Buddhism in desperation to connect with a higher power on behalf of her mother. With eyebrows raised, Kaw-Thar lowered her voice and leaned forward as she shared, “I have even attended an Easter service while traveling in Europe and spoke with the Pastor after the sermon.” Yet, despite her searching, despite her questions, Kaw-Thar kept getting stuck on the same question within her own heart. “How can there be three persons to one God?”
The young foreigner continued to pray silently and the Lord brought to mind an example used by a missionary within the book I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh. And with another affirmation upon her listening heart to speak in the midst of a dangerous environment, with a sparkle in her eye, the young foreigner began to share. “You are right, my friend. There is only one God. There are three parts to God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Think of God like the sun for a minute. There are three parts that make up the sun: heat, light and radiation. Each part is distinctly unique, yet undeniably part of the same whole.”
If this interaction tugs at your heart, know that there are multiple ways to get involved with sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Arab world as a whole. A quick sit down with a local Christian Pastor or a simple Internet search will bring a whole list of opportunities before you with organizations to partner with in order to GO (Matthew 28:19).
The above dialogue is just one account of real life interactions between Christian and Muslim friends in 2016 across the globe. Jesus Christ is showing up in the dreams of those seeking to know the One and True God (Jeremiah 29:13). Islam teaches that only their prophet Muhammad or the devil can appear in the dreams of Muslims. Yet, all the while, Jesus is showing up—defying their teachings and bringing multitudes into the Kingdom through belief on Jesus Christ (Romans 10:13). Amen! Even the refugee crisis is being used for the glory of God as multiple Christian ministries are meeting these displaced peoples on the shores of foreign lands and ministering to their basic humanitarian needs. The number of precious lives converting from Islam as they embrace a God of love—the God of the Holy Bible—Jesus Christ (1 John 4:8-10)—is truly amazing!
May I encourage you this very day to consider having a similar conversation with someone of another faith. Christian Apologetics—or the defense of the Christian faith—is a powerful tool in providing a loving witness to those who are earnestly seeking to know God. The author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi, has a powerful series of Christian apologetics in light of Islam on YouTube, which is filmed at Biola University in southern California. It is very insightful and taught me much about the core beliefs of Islam. As Christians, it is our deepest honor and most sincere joy to speak of the transformative work of Jesus Christ within our own lives.
May we, as women of our own generation, be ready and willing to speak at length with those of other faiths who are seeking to know more about Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior (1 Peter 3:15)—because, you never know—it may be due to your willingness to GO in Jesus’ name that others will experience eternity and right standing before the One and only Holy God of all things (Isaiah 6:1-8). Are you ready to GO?
Photo Cred: Chelsea Steller
What is love? Is it s’mores on the beach at sunset? Is it a mountain vista overlooking acres of evergreens after a hike? Is it scuba diving through a shipwreck? Kayaking as the summer rays kiss your face? Climbing sand dunes? Skydiving? Author and blogger, Katie Messer, would answer that any interaction with God’s creation points to the infinite love of God. Yet, the place in which she sees God’s love most fully manifested is in the ultimate act of unabashed love by her Lord, Jesus Christ. She thanks God for her God fearing husband and their two children who share in these international adventures. “Mirrors to Window: Change your view to see God’s true romance” is a book of Katie’s own honest testimony of God’s radical rescue and redemption within her own life. “Blooming Beauty” is Katie’s official blog site. Check it out for encouragement in how to see and thank God through all circumstances of life. Why? Because you are worth it to an infinitely loving God.