A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see a former Muslim woman pray to receive Christ. I didn’t realize at the time how big a deal this is. The soil of the hearts of Middle-Eastern people has not been fertile ground. But we are beginning to see God move in their hearts on campus. Here’s the story. (I’ve changed the name of the student who prayed to receive Christ for security.)
My morning had been frustrating so when it was time to go sharing with Amanda, a C4C student, I wasn’t necessarily in a “good place.” Amanda and I met up and right off the bat let each other know that our mornings had not been good at all. So we took a moment to pray for each other and give all glory to God as we were about to step out onto the battlefield without much will to fight. We asked for God’s cleansing on us and specifically for Him to use us to further His kingdom, to allow us to see someone pray to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Our first encounter was a pleasant spiritual conversation but we could tell the person wasn’t interested so we moved on. We prayed as we walked, making our way to another cafeteria. Amanda told me to lead the way, but I hadn’t really felt a nudge to any specific person. Amanda, however, felt the Holy Spirit nudge her towards a middle-eastern looking girl with a cool red stripe of hair.
We approached the girl, Norah, and as the conversation flowed we found out that Norah’s family moved to Vancouver 10 or 12 years ago from Iran. So naturally, she told us, her religious background is Islam. She explained that as a native of Iran, you are a Muslim. It’s taught in school, practiced at home and work, and pretty much has its hand in every area of your life. However, when her family moved here, they did not continue to practice it and so she wasn’t sure she should identify herself as a Muslim. She still believed in God as a Creator and prayed to Him every night. Their family even has a copy of the Qu’ran, but never touch it.
As we kept talking with Norah, it was evident that God had been at work in her life and had arranged various events and circumstances leading up to that point in time. Norah told us that she was interested in finding out more about Christianity and we told her we would be happy to share with her about the Bible and God’s main message to us. She believed that we were all created by God and that we can have a personal relationship with Him. She also agreed with the Bible’s take on man’s depravity and that we’re all imperfect, trying to reach a perfect God.
However, when we shared about how God provided One Way for us to reach Him through faith in Jesus Christ, Norah wasn’t ready to believe. She told us that her whole life she was taught that Jesus was simply a prophet, lower than Mohammad, who had good teachings but was not God. We kept talking about who Jesus is and asking questions to clarify her understanding and answered her questions. We moved on and told Norah that all we have to do is simply believe that Christ is the Son of God and accept the gift God gave us in Christ’s death in order to have that relationship with Him.
At this point, Norah was still holding back, not ready to accept this message as truth. So we asked Norah, “Do you believe that God is in complete control of everything?” She answered, “Of course.” So my next question was, “Then do you believe in coincidences?” She responded, “No, I guess I don’t.” We went on to talk about how everything that day led up to us talking with her, sharing this Good News with her. Normally, she would’ve been working but had called in sick to stay on campus to study. Amanda and I had prayed specifically that God would use us, despite our inabilities, to bring someone into a relationship with Jesus that day. Just before we talked with Norah, Amanda and I had a short conversation with another woman. Discerning that she wasn’t interested or ready to receive Christ, we moved on. Amanda was compelled to approach Norah and so we did.
We talked a bit longer about what it looks like to begin a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, and how eventually He would change her into the woman He wants her to be rather than expecting us to change ourselves overnight. At this point, she teared up a bit at the fact that anyone can accept Christ, regardless of their race, gender, or past. In her religious background, only certain people can join and even fewer can attain complete salvation.
She humbled herself before the Lord and invited Christ to take control of her life. We brought her to the Interfaith Center on campus (where the Muslim Student Association was just finishing with their noon-time prayers!) and gave her her own copy of the Bible.
We have not been able to follow up with her, but I have talked with her each week on the phone, checking up on her. If you think about it, send up a quick prayer for her, that God would protect the seed that has been sown in her heart from Satan’s attacks.