* The following story was recently told to me by a Cru staffer in 4th Journey (4J), our code name for a closed country in Eurasia.
Every Sunday, curious Muslims wander into our church and request New Testaments. Despite the widely-held belief that the Bible has been changed, people of all ages are interested to learn about the message of the Holy Book.
This past Sunday, I noticed two young students standing awkwardly in the back of the church, seemingly waiting for something to happen. I approached them and, with my limited language skills, explained that church usually starts an hour later than the sign says. They told me that they would wait.
I sat down with them and started asking questions - most people here are not used to foreign accents and it took a while to get in a rhythm of conversation. I discovered that they were first year high school students and best friends from birth. They lived in a small village outside of the city and had traveled over an hour by minibus to come to visit the church.
"Why did you come to church?" I asked.
Their answer surprised me: "We searched the internet for a church and this was the only one we could find near us. Our village does not have a church."
I asked what they hoped to find at church. They said that they didn't know, but that they wanted Holy Books. I ran and got two New Testaments from the book table and brought them back to the boys. They seemed very disturbed by the size of the book and asked me to show them which part explained how to become a Christian.
Realizing my language limitations, I flipped to the back of the New Testament to show them a summary of the Gospel in the form of the Four Spiritual Laws (known in the US as Knowing God Personally ). Together, we read through the verses and illustrations which explain the Good News in a culturally relevant way. I was able to communicate the gospel to these boys in their own language! After we finished, I explained that they could read the book of John to understand more about the life of Jesus.
I asked if they had any more questions and they said that they understood everything but wondered if they could have more Holy Books to give to their friends. I ran and got them two more New Testaments. When I came back, they had made little bookmarks for all four of the New Testaments to mark the 4 Laws and the book of John.
With a strange excitement, they said, "We can use these four points to explain to our friends!"
I have been communicating on Facebook with these boys and they have already read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They have also explained the "four points" to six of their friends. These boys took a big risk to come to church, and I don't know when I will see them again. But they could very well be the first to bring the Good News into their village.
The New Testaments which include the Four Spiritual Laws in the back gave me the opportunity to share the Gospel in a language that I cannot speak fluently. And these New Testaments are making it possible for 14 year-olds to share the story of God's love and forgiveness with their friends who might have never had an opportunity to hear.
SomeTime is a cojourner experience – a time dedicated to exploring the spiritual backstories of our friends, and seeks to provide easy connections to the gospel through planned conversations.
Backstory is the new and revised version of Life@Large – a very simple, very graphic, very clear presentation of the gospel message.
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