Melissa is a college student from Georgia. She recently joined us in Central Eurasia for a short term trip, and below shares some lessons from her experience.  

While I was preparing to come to Central Eurasia, I had so many expectations of what I thought this country would be like. Because of what I have seen on the news and heard growing up, the word “Muslim” had a negative connotation for me. That said, the idea of coming to a Muslim country and sharing the Gospel seemed like a scary thing.

Now I know that is the opposite of the truth. I can honestly say that I haven’t felt even slightly afraid since I arrived in Central Eurasia. Yes, the people are mostly Muslim, but they are so kind and receptive, and they have been so friendly and welcoming. One afternoon, I had a conversation with a Muslim woman (with the help of an interpreter). We were just making small talk, and we started talking about religion. She told us about her Muslim faith and then asked us about our beliefs. We shared about Jesus and how we believe that He is the Son of God, and we went back and forth discussing what it means to be a Christian. I was expecting her to be super defensive and angry, but it was the exact opposite; she listened to everything we said, and at the end of the conversation, she was still smiling and showing us love. It was truly incredible. It was a surreal experience for me. Here I was, sharing Jesus with a covered Muslim woman and not feeling threatened or afraid in the least.

It is also heartbreaking, because if more people would look past the stereotype and fear that comes along with the word “Muslim,” imagine how many Muslims could come to know Jesus.

The Muslims are so hungry for God and they desperately want a relationship with Him. It’s our job to show them that it is possible.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned from this experience is to constantly push yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Fearfulness is not a good reason to not share the Gospel. Be brave and share, even if you’re afraid. I also learned to not let preconceived ideas of someone affect whether or not you think they’re capable of becoming a Christian. It’s possible for everyone, no one is too stuck in their own personal beliefs. The last lesson, go. Whether it’s for a short trip or for a lifetime, you will never be the same.

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