God Story
The words of women

I stood at the front of the little church and smoothed my patterned dress. This was the first time I had ever led a seminar, and I was doing it in the local language. Pushing down my nerves, I smiled and began to teach.

Seventeen women and two men—the pastors of the village’s churches—listened as I taught them how to share their testimonies with Muslim neighbours.

Then I invited the women to practice. I smiled as they spoke of the joy they’d experienced in following Jesus and receiving His forgiveness, but my heart broke as many said they had lost friends and even family members after leaving Islam.

 

Unexpected guest

An unfamiliar man slipped into the room and sat on a bench at the back. One of the pastors turned to look, then nudged his colleague and raised his eyebrows.

Curious, I went to the pastors and quietly asked, “Who is that man?”

“The village leader.”

Respect in this culture means handing the microphone to anyone with social standing, so I knew I was obligated to invite him to speak.

“He owns the bar across the street,” one of the pastors whispered. “The first time believers met here, he told me my congregation would soon prefer hanging out at his bar.”

I frowned at this insult. Even in this Muslim society, rampant alcoholism destroys many families, so Jesus followers are trying to help those who are addicted and are taking a stand against drinking.

 

Forgiveness in Christ

After all the attendees had shared their stories, I pasted on a smile and asked the village leader if he’d like to speak.

“What you said moved me,” he began. “I’ve always respected Jesus. I like what He said. But I never saw any reason to follow Him.” He paused, looking over the group. “But now that I have heard your stories, I understand forgiveness, and I want to follow Jesus.”

I stared at him, stunned.  God had used the testimonies of these 17 Muslim-background believers almost immediately, and I’m praying that the village leader’s decision will lead many more to the forgiveness found only in Christ.

Source: Frontiers

 

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