A man studies the Koran for years and then he is apointed to lead a village or small town as a Sheikh. Today, Saturday, we went into a small town of 15,000 people where the Gospel had never been presented. We were given permission by the local Sheikh. Our friend, Pastor Shaddi said it would be very safe to say that the 400 plus teachers and children who came to the program were hearing about God’s plan to rescue them through faith in Jesus Christ for the first time! How amazing!
We honestly thought that the Sheikh would never allow us to share with the children. This town is an all Muslim town. We met with him and told him honestly what we would say and do. Shaddi and I told him that we would tell the story of Joseph, talk about God’s love and forgiveness, and how Jesus Christ died for our sins. I told him that I would tell the children about my hope. I said that Jesus is the only hope. He listened and said ok. We were all shocked and wondered what God allowed him to hear.
As we began the program, Sheikh opened for us. He said, "These people will tell you the story of Joseph. They will talk about Jesus. I want you to listen to them." Unbelievable!
We had 400 plus children and they were totally focused on the story. When we began to talk about Jesus, they still listened. I told them how to pray, but we did not pray with them. Shaddi agreed that the message was very clear. No one could have left there without knowing who Jesus was, what he did and why. More, we explained how they could know Jesus as their Savior and how they could pray. We even told them what words they could say.
As we heard the end of the program and were doing the last song, the principal, the Sheikh became nervous. He had told the children to listen, but he clearly had not expected them to really listen. When we finished, he stood up to speak. We were shocked. He said, "The Koran speaks of Jesus. He is coming again to judge the world and their sin. The Koran speaks of Jesus and the virgin birth. And Mohammed did many good things."
I confess to you that I wanted to laugh out loud, but I didn’t. I thought…"this is your defense of Islam. What a wonder."
As the children left, they would walk by me and quietly whisper, "Thank you." many said, "I love you." They understood, I expect to see some of these precious little ones in Heaven, Pray for them! Pray for God’s light to flood this dark place. Do not stop praying. We have 3 more days to stand in the dark and ask God to make us His light.
Padraig and Jared