We took a national partner, Steve*, to visit Ali, Bedriye, Leyla and their father, Muhammed, at the Muhammed’s house. We have been in contact with this family of Syrian refugees for about three years now, regularly visiting them and discipling them. Ali and Bedriye have professed faith in Jesus and have been baptized, whereas the other siblings – Leyla, Fidan, and Seydo – as well as his father, have not.
Recently, a few of us have been visiting the ladies to read and study the Bible with them. A major language barrier exists because the family speaks Kurdish and Arabic, and many of them are illiterate. Only a couple of them speak a little Turkish. Leyla, who is younger, is one of the ones who cannot read and knows very little Turkish. She has had a very difficult 18 years of life, but she has shared with me that she often has dreams of Jesus, who is comforting her while she is mourning the loss of her mother.
This was Steve’s* first time meeting this family, but I was excited to finally have someone who speaks Kurdish to visit them. He quickly revealed that he was a follower of Jesus, reiterated the gospel, and asked each family member if they believed this Good News. Ali, Bedriye, and Leyla each agreed.
While Bedriye was in the kitchen making coffee, Leyla and I went to another room. I asked her if she was still having dreams, and she said yes and that she really wanted to believe in Jesus, too. I told her that this brother who was with us could listen to her and answer any questions she had. She responded, “Oh, he can do it?!” I said, “Yes!” and she said, “Well, let’s go!”
So, we went back to the other room, and Leyla shared with Steve* about her dreams and how Jesus told her he was going to save her. Steve* shared the gospel with Leyla again, asked her if she believed these things and she agreed. He reminded her that her faith would now be in the work of Christ, not her dreams. Leyla knelt on the floor and Steve prayed for her, and then she repeated a prayer of salvation after him. He reminded her that now that she was a follower of Jesus, Satan would try to accuse her but that she needed to stop him and say “I am a daughter of God!” I excitedly hugged her and told her that we are sisters now.
Another good thing about this visit was that Leyla’s father was a witness to the whole thing. In fact, he was tolerant, respectful, almost in agreement, and probably heard the gospel clearly for the first time. I pray it was a form of discipleship and encouragement for Ali and Bedriye to hear the good news again, clearly in their mother tongue, and see Leyla join them on this journey. Praise the Lord!
*NOTE: Name changed for security reasons.