“So, what do you do?” Sometimes I dread this question. It’s a simple answer and sometimes it’s an immediate end to conversation.
I stare into the young faces of an Iranian couple, both medical students, who joined us for brunch at Missional Community one morning. She is a co-worker of a woman in our community, and she has been here for 2 months. He’s been here for 2 years.
I trust Jesus to give me words. What I do and who we are. I love how speaking in German also forces me to simplify what I say. “We are a group of people who love Jesus. We meet in homes. So often in the world we see religion say ‘faith’ is here—once a week in a building—and then over here is ‘everyday life’. We have a heart to bring these together and live out our faith everyday in authentic ways, and also together in community.”
They nod their heads and look at me with surprising interest in their eyes. “Is this only for people who are ‘Christians’?” I feel my heart bubble up as a I say, “When we look at Jesus, we see that He so often said to a person, ‘Come with me. Come with me, eat, walk, hang out. Come with.’ He invited people right where they were at. It is our heart to also do this. To also give a warm welcome and a place for people who don’t know what they think about Jesus but to just come and see.”
The conversation then dropped as we talked about food, cultural dishes, and cinnamon rolls—naturally.
Later they both look earnestly at me and ask, “Will you meet in this location next week?” I could see desire and curiosity underneath their words. “Next week it will be at my place and we will spend time praying, worshiping God, then we will open the Bible to read and talk. You are warmly welcome to come…”
To my shock and delight they nod excitedly, “Bible? That sounds great. Is it really okay if we come? We are Muslim. But…” their words trail off in a curious shrug. I assure them that yes, they are warmly welcome—just as they are.
Oh Jesus. You surprise me. Pray that Jesus will encounter this young couple.