In 1999 I was appointed New Zealand Rep for a Christian missionary organization. This meant much traveling round the country which was a great joy to me because as well as meeting Christians everywhere I could also talk to many strangers about Jesus.
One night I spoke at Levin Baptist Church (a town where my dear brother Jeffrey was buried, having died at the age of two in 1957.) The following day at 11am I walked through the town praying to talk with someone. Noticing a kebab shop, I entered the shop and saw two Middle Eastern men behind the counter.
I explained I was just visiting the area and asked the first man where he was from and if he was a Muslim? “No, sir,” he replied. “I am a Christian from Iraq.”
“Wonderful,” I said and turned to the other man. “And you sir are a Christian too?”
“No,” he said bluntly, “I am a Muslim from Iran.” Whoops! I apologized quickly.
In my bag I had hand-drawn some countries of the world with the main cities and roads drawn in. I had all the Middle Eastern countries, as well as India and Pakistan. I asked these men to show me where they were both from and they pointed out their cities, with interest. The cafe was empty and I made a quick decision to order lunch, hoping the two of them might join me to talk further. Which is exactly what happened. Without asking them, they both pulled up chairs and we continued the conversation. We exchanged names.
By and by I asked the Iranian if he was interested in looking at a video I had in my car in his native language, Farsi? I told him it was called the “Jesus” video. He immediately showed interest so I returned to my car (a 5 minute run!) and fetched it. Breathless, I handed it over. He was excited, holding it in his hands. “How can I see this?” he asked me. I replied, “It’s yours. It’s free. Please have it.” (It was the only copy I ever had in Farsi.) He was delighted and accepted it, along with the Farsi and Arabic tracts I offered later on. The cafe at this point began to get crowded and it was time for me to go.
I phoned the Baptist Church and asked them to pray for the Iranian. They told me they were already praying for him! Praise God. About a year later I shared this little story with 5 people in Auckland. At the conclusion, an older woman in this group said to me excitedly, “I know this man. He came to faith in Christ about 6 months later along with his whole family and they now attend a local church!”
Lesson : Some will sow, others will reap but all will be blessed when these ones come to glory.
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