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Global Mission

Praise God, No Internet!

My husband slipped his computer into his backpack and sighed. “Let’s try the coffee shop.” With no internet in the apartment we’d just moved to as Global Mission pioneers in a closed Middle Eastern country, the coffee shop was the closest free internet access where we could contact our families and send in our monthly report.

We set up in a quiet corner. Within a few minutes, we heard someone slowly, loudly repeating sentences in English. My husband and I exchanged knowing glances. A young man nearby, huddled under bulky earphones and leaning into his computer, was obviously absorbed in an online English-language class.

We were surprised when he stopped at our table as he was leaving and asked in heavily accented English if his voice had disturbed us.

“No, of course not,” my husband responded, inviting him to sit down. We learned his name was Selim. He was a civil engineering student at a nearby university. We could tell Selim welcomed the opportunity to practice his English. We made plans to meet for conversation time.

Before the scheduled date arrived, though, we happened to meet again at the shop, all of us still looking for internet. But that day, the coffee shop’s internet was down too. With nothing else to do, we invited Selim to join us at a nearby restaurant for lunch. As our habit is even in public, we bowed our heads over our food to say grace.

Selim was full of questions. “Did you pray before you eat? Are you saying a Christian prayer?”

“Yes, we pray many times during the day, and yes, we believe in Jesus,” my husband explained.

“I have never met a Christian before in real life,” Selim observed. When my husband asked Selim what he knew about Christianity, he responded honestly, “Only what I’ve seen in the movies.”

That was our opportunity to explain that we are Christians but different from anything he had seen in a movie or a television series; we are careful about how we live, what we eat, and how we worship. Selim’s surprise turned into a confession as he opened his heart about what he saw as inconsistencies in his religion.

“I’m even thinking about becoming an atheist,” Selim admitted. My husband challenged him to research other options before deciding and to keep practicing his English with us.

Each time we met with Selim, our conversations deepened from everyday topics to personal life to faith. One day, he disclosed that he was thinking about learning more about religion and felt an emptiness in his heart. As I prayed, my husband quietly asked Selim if he wanted to learn more about Jesus.

“Yes. But I would like to do my own research,” was Selim’s measured response.

My husband pulled a New Testament from his jacket pocket. “This is the best place to begin learning about Jesus,” he said. Selim accepted the little book reverently and agreed to read it. We assured him we would be praying for him as he did his research.

My husband and I continue to meet with Selim for English conversation. We continue to pray. He says he is reading the book we gave him.

Soon after having that first lunch with Selim, the company showed up at our apartment to turn our internet back on. We still frequent the coffee shop, though, because Selim is still learning English, and God is still working!

In answer to our prayers, long before we prayed them, God was working in Asli’s life. No one was near to explain; no one was available to guide her. But He kept near her as He waited for someone to tell her more. This region has not been sold to the enemy. These people are being preserved for God.