On a recent trip, I was a bit discouraged. We had gone hoping to meet with believers, as well as look for a potential spot for a future baptism. However, when we arrived, two of the local believers were not in their places of business. And that week we had just found out that the most healthy and mature believer was being transferred to a new city. She was out of town looking for a new home and was going to move before we could baptize her.
I hoped to make the most of our visit, so I called a local named “S” who had come to our house church in the past. He has some speech abnormalities, perhaps caused by something like autism, so I was concerned we wouldn’t even be able to communicate well or meet. When I called, we set up a meeting place, and I waited. When S ultimately showed up, I suggested that we sit at a café and chat, but he didn’t want to. He insisted we go to his house where he lived with some family members. I was very hesitant, but when he kept insisting, I gave in. On our way, I was nervous since I normally don’t go alone to people’s houses. When I asked if anyone expected me, he said, “Oh yes, my aunts have made cakes and tea for you.” That settled my concerns, and we kept going.
When we got to the house, two older ladies greeted us at the door, S’s aunts. They sat me in the salon, and then brought me their food. Even though it was Ramazan, they were not fasting, which surprised me. My friend then brought a book that he was reading into the room. It was an apologetics book by Lee Strobel. I asked if he was also reading the Bible, but he said he struggled to understand it at times. Then his aunt piped up, “S has had visions of Jesus. You need to explain the New Testament to him.”
From then on I had the opportunity to explain the gospel to all three of them for the next 30 or 40 minutes. I began talking about Jesus as the Lamb of God and sacrifice for sin. After a bit of explaining, the same aunt interjected again, “Do you hear this (looking at her sister), this man says that animal sacrifices can’t take away sin. It’s true! A man needs to die in our place.”
Needless to say, I was taken aback by her confession, her level of understanding, and her willingness to even believe that Jesus died on the cross. After more explanation, she interrupted me again. “I believe,” she said, “that Jesus was the sacrifice for my sin.”
I stayed for a while longer, and I’m not sure about the faith of this family. But they seemed to believe everything I shared. Before I left, one of the aunts asked that I pray for S and his depression medication that was negatively affecting him. S also asked that I pray for his aunts. So I took the opportunity to pray in Jesus’ name for his healing, and also for the faith of his aunts. They were fully engaged during the prayer, and thanked me when I left.
As I walked away from their home I thanked God for the divine appointment. I had no plans of going to that house that day. But it seemed like God and everyone else knew I was coming.