We have lived in North Africa for the past six years reaching out to the least-reached people who we refer to as our cousins. One of my good friends, Moe, loves to watch English movies with Arabic subtitles.
One afternoon, as I walked into his shop, he asked me to sit down and watch this movie with him. To my surprise, he was watching The Shack. All throughout the movie, we paused and talked about Jesus and God’s love for us. There were several times when I felt Moe would never understand nor accept the truth that I was sharing. However, the Holy Spirit brought back to my memory what I had been discovering in the Word that very morning. I had been reading about the Mount of Transfiguration. I had said to the Father, “If I was to relate this story to the average person, they would never believe it to be true.” The Spirit of God then spoke, “But Matthew believed the story and he had only heard what they told him. It is not up to you to convince people of the truth. Your responsibility is to share the truth and let the Holy Spirit do the convincing, no matter how unreasonable the truth may sound. There will be those who will be skeptical about what you share, but like Matthew, there will also be those who will listen and be inspired.”
At one point in the movie, we paused to talk about the trinity. At another point, we paused to talk about how the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for our wrongdoings so that we can be set free from the fear of hell, which is a huge concern for our cousins. To my amazement, after talking about these profound theological truths, I asked him, “Do you understand what I am saying?” As Moe nodded in agreement and by the expression on his face, I could tell that the Spirit of God had been speaking to him.
I am encouraged by Isaiah 55:8, “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work. God’s decree.”
This story is taken from the Fall 2018 Alliance Connection magazine. You can get a free copy of the Alliance Connection at Alliance churches across Canada or view the digital copy online. We hope you will be encouraged and inspired to go deeper in Jesus and as a result, further on mission.
Tim and Rox’s full names are withheld for security reasons. They have been international workers in a creative-access-country in North Africa since 2012. They have been married since 1978 and have two children and two granddaughters. Learn more at cmacan.org/trb.