The title of this post could be used to describe many different events that I’ve been involved with over my last year on staff but this evening was a perfect example. A CU event that wasn’t really organised, a last minute request to do a talk on the film and no real advertising. And yet God in His great mercy was totally in control. I’d text some friends asking them to pray for me and the event – what I wanted was for the event to become more organised, the CU to be less clueless and for a talk to magically ping itself into my head, or least my notes. Maybe that’s slightly overexagerating it, but it’s pretty much how I wanted the evening to end. And yet it didn’t end like that at all. As soon as the credits began to roll most of the people began to walk out the room and by the time the CU realised only 3 people were left! And at that 3 Muslim men! Inwardly I was thinking “they are never going to listen to me, they’re never going to believe that Jesus really is God”, and kinda wanted to disappear. Instead, I started a discussion about what they’d liked about the film, which although stilted got to Jesus and we talked about how he really can show us wisdom as well as the truth of the gospel. I was quick to end the conversation though with warnings of not “being too preachy as not to offend the Muslims” from earlier in the evening ringing in my ears, but others were less keen to let conversation cease. And so, came the ippurtunity for one of the Muslim men “H” to tell us about his first couple of weeks at Uni:
“I arrived from Iran and found in my room a book by my bed. I didn’t know what it was but started reading it and discovered that it was a bible. I read it and kept reading it because it was so easy to understand unlike the Qu’ran which is in Arabic and I don’t understand it.” (paraphrased by me but pretty much word for word!)
How amazing is that?! That a guy comes all the way from Iran, has never heard of Christianity or the bible really picks one up, starts reading it and is intrigued. And then a couple of weeks later stumbles upon a Christian event and hears people talking about Jesus. And then – even more excitingly(!)- agrees to meet with a British Christian to read the gospel of Luke together.
And, he’s not the only encouragement from this evening. “A” from Aghanistan has spent a couple of years working for a Christian charity in Afghanistan and come into contact with many American Christians, although he himself is a Muslim. He was just as interested in the gospel and he, H and the third guy are all attending church with CU members this sunday.
What a reminder at the start of this year that God does use the weak and that he is control at all times!