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The Way, The Truth, and the Life

We Will Reach People Lacking Access

By Anonymous

A refugee from North Africa, “O” had contacted an Internet ministry and had begun Bible studies by correspondence. Since he lives relatively close to my home in Europe, his number was given to me for follow up.

On the way there, all kinds of thoughts rushed to my mind. What if this is a trap? ISIS has been active in the West, recruiting people, promoting their agenda, threatening foreigners. People from our city have tried to travel to Syria to fight alongside ISIS. Just last week arrests were made. I asked God to take control of me, my emotions, my fears, my thoughts.

The address was an older corner building, one tiny door and only one bell to ring. I called the phone number and waited outside. I don’t naturally pay attention to details, but I found myself taking note of my surroundings: balconies, doors, the building across the street. I could hear the pigeons between the gusts of wind. I turned to look at them when suddenly I heard a noise behind me. I turned and saw a lady peak out the door.

“Welcome!” she said. “We are so glad you are here. This is an honor.”

Stepping inside that old, dark building, I saw there was only one direction to go. A tiny flight of stairs led up. “Go on,” O’s aunt said, as if she knew I would need encouragement.

Halfway through the second flight of stairs, I heard a voice from above. “Welcome!” I looked up and saw a young man in his thirties looking down at me. I continued until our hands could reach in a cordial shake. “Come on in,” O said politely.

O sat quietly, and my concerns subsided quickly as I studied their faces and observed the humble setting. I asked a few questions to keep the information flowing, but I wasn’t sure how comfortable O would be talking about spiritual things around his aunt. She carried the conversation along, telling me about her journey. She had come to Spain in 2008 but then got cancer. She was healed but now is receiving treatment for thyroid cancer.

She spoke calmly and gently. And it was easy to listen attentively as she talked about her struggles and needs. I shared the words of Jesus, asking us to look at the birds and the lilies. “‘Aren’t you worth much more than the birds?’” Jesus said. His words seem to hit home. They were both looking straight at me with eyes searching for more, leaning forward and nodding their heads.

As his aunt excused herself to prepare tea, O began to tell me his story. He had a law degree but couldn’t find a job.

“How did you come in touch with the Web site?”

“In college I had some friends who were Christians but in secret. They were so scared. I had questions, and I used to watch them—observe and compare. I was comparing the effect of religion on the individual, the society, and the country. There is a lot of fear!

“One young guy,” he continued, “became a Christian and he was killed inside the mosque. I know that if it were the other way around, Christians wouldn’t hurt the guy who would convert to something else. Why is there this fear? Why is there no freedom for people to think and choose? I began to ask questions, but everything is controlled and watched. I just got tired of the situation and wanted to leave.”

O explained that when he came to Spain three months earlier, he contacted the ministry Web site and began correspondence lessons. O brought out a folder and opened it like it was a precious treasure. The booklets inside were about Creation, Adam and Eve, Moses, and Abraham.

“Have you been able to understand the good news of the gospel?” I asked.

“I’m not exactly sure.”

It was my turn to share. “I can see in these booklets that you read how God created Adam and Eve and enjoyed His fellowship with them.”
I told O about sin, about broken relationships, about lostness, about love, about religion and works, about Jesus, the cross, and salvation. Both his aunt and he listened attentively as we sipped our tea. I then asked him if he had heard about any of this.

“Some parts,” he said, “but not the whole thing.”

We read the story of Nicodemos in John 3 and talked about the new birth and Jesus. They absorbed everything. “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus knows the way to the Father. He longs to bring restoration, healing, and fellowship. Do you believe in Him as Savior? Do you believe in His death and Resurrection?”

“Yes!” they both replied.

“Would you like to commit your lives to Jesus?”

“But I don’t know how,” O said.

“O, there is no magic formula. If you want, I can pray and you can repeat after me or express the same idea with your own words.”

He agreed, and we all opened our hands and bowed our heads. They both repeated the words and phrases. I gave them time to confess their sins, and we asked God to receive them, to transform them, to fill them with His Spirit, and to reign over their hearts.

“I can’t tell you what I am feeling!” O said. “There are tears in my eyes. I have dreamed of becoming a Christian. This is a great day.”

His aunt had a huge smile on her face. I wanted to jump and dance! I left O a stack of books but explained, “If you can only read one, it has to be the Bible.”

“Oh, but I have plenty of time,” he answered. “I want to read them all.”

I told him that I would be calling regularly to check on them and pray with them. “In the same way the coals of a fire need each other to keep the flame alive, we must find a way for you to join with other believers to encourage you and keep your faith alive.”

Rejoice with us in the work of God!

reach

We Will Reach

While He who is “not willing that any should perish” calls us to take His loving message to everyone, the Alliance family is being called in particular to prayerfully seek to reach:

  • People on the Move: The world’s population is shifting and nations are coming to our neighborhoods. Is our church fully participating in this unprecedented opportunity to share the gospel?
  • People of All Ages: Has our church been guilty of seeing children, the disabled, the senior adult, or anyone as less important than everyone else?
  • People Lacking Access: As 4,075 peoples are still to be reached, have we joined the Alliance family in taking seriously our assignment to participate in bringing the gospel to them?

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