“I pray also for those who will believe in me….”
He glanced sideways to make sure no one else in the restaurant was near enough to hear what he was going to say. Then he leaned towards me, his face deadly serious. Only his eyes betrayed the excitement he felt as he spoke.
“Tell me, just where and how I can apply for this eternal life?!” My mind went back over the four or five long discussions we had had earlier, and knew that this man, Orin, was serious in his questioning.
God had been preparing him for years for this conversation. He had been born in a remote, primitive village far out in the East where there was no possibility of hearing the gospel. But when he was five years old, while playing in the ruins of a church, he had asked himself this question, “I wonder, is the God of this church the same as the God of our Mosque?” Then he’d spent the next 29 years looking for an answer, and I was the first Christian he had been able to find!
At our first meeting, I had given him the Gospel of Mark, which he read extensively, memorizing portions and asking me many questions. He knew he was a sinner–“I can’t take one step without sinning”–an unusual insight for a Musl.im, evidencing a genuine work of the Holy Spirit.
He somewhat understood the price of persecution he would have to pay for being a Christian: in his excitement of learning about Christ, he had shared with his family and friends and had been strongly opposed. Yet he was eager to “put in his application” for eternal life, and he did, entering the Kingdom of Christ!
On another day, we sat on the hillside, chatting. Below us sprawled the capital city, a wave of red tiled roofs that washed up and over the hills and mountains surrounding the city center.
Although sunshine splashed over most of the scene, dark thunderclouds menacingly shouldered their way in from the West, foreshadowing the suffering that would come into his life. But it would be a while before these storm clouds reached us: there was still time to talk.
We watched four children playing in front of their solitary house down below us. The two smaller ones had not a stitch of clothing on. Orin broke the silence. “Yes, I enjoyed reading the book you gave me, but it’s more important that we read this,” he tapped the New Testament portion lying in his lap. “Tell me,” he continued, “what does it mean here…?” And he went on to ask a number of questions.
To have an eager, serious disciple like this who has come out of Isl@m is the dream of every evangelist. This man’s coming to Christ is the fruit of many people praying.
He is a good reminder to us to be faithful in interceding for the world, for we do not know the distant lives those prayers enter to stir up a desire to know the true and living God.
Prayer: “Lord, help me to be faithful in praying for those who have never heard. Work in them, give them a desire to know Truth. Bring them into contact with your Word. Sweep them into your Kingdom, into your Church, into your protection. Amen.”