Below is a true Boots on the Road story highlighting one of the many unreached people groups along the Silk Road. This story is excerpted from the book, Live Dead Together: A Practice in Group Abiding. Order the book and find other Live Dead resources here.
One evening I struck up a conversation with a man named Sultan. When I went home that evening I immediately told my wife, “Honey, I met this man. As I was talking to him I just felt this sense of peace,” to which she replied, “Well, go back and meet with him again!” So, I went back to Sultan’s shop and started talking to him again. That peace that I had felt transitioned into one of those Spirit-promptings to boldly and clearly explain the Gospel.
Now, we say in Afghanistan, an evangelist has about a 15-minute life span. Here’s the basic scenario: I would share about Jesus and then he would kill me. The police would come and say, “What happened?” He responds, “Oh, this man was proselytizing,” to which the police would reply, “Well, let his body rot here so all can see what happens to those who try to convert a Muslim. Case closed.”
But I knew that the Lord was telling me to do this, so I took a step of faith. In the Afghan language I said, “My God is my Father.” Now I had just distanced myself from Islam because I said that I have a relationship with God like a child to a parent, whereas Muslims would find this idea of intimacy with God offensive. Allah is the master, they are his slaves. Because I said this, he would legally be permitted to kill me. Instead, he gave a big smile and nodded his head. So, I took another step of faith and I said to Sultan, “My God’s son is Jesus.” He smiled again and said, “Yes, He is.” I was about ready to pass out. I was like, “Who are you?” So, he told me his story:
I am a religious man from a religious family. All the men in my family have been imams, they have been mullahs. I have been trained in the mosque, in the madrasah since I was a young boy. One night I had a dream. I was walking to the madrasah and there was a big storm, and every step I took there was lightning, there was thunder. It was preventing me from getting to the madrasah. So, I turned, and I met a lady who points into a room, and in this room is a man standing full of glory. Then I wake up from my dream. It’s my time to go to the madrasah, but on my way there there’s no lightning, there’s no thunder. I go in. I sit down with my teacher and explain to him the dream that I had the night before. My teacher looks at me and says, ‘You’re unclean. Don’t ever come back here again.’ I just lost my job, my career, my identity. I wondered, ‘Who was this man full of glory?’ Well, I met a missionary, and this missionary begins to teach me from his Holy Book. He begins to teach me about Jesus, the man full of glory. I gave my life to this Jesus. This missionary brings me into this small group of five other believers. The missionary meets with us once a week and teaches from the Holy Book. One week we’re waiting for the missionary, but he never came. Later we find out he’s been shot and killed for sharing his faith with us. Me and the other five guys, we ran for our lives. It’s been nine months since I’ve read from the Holy Book or spoken to another believer…and now you’re standing in front of me.
God had led me to talk to Sultan. I brought him into my home, fed him, prayed with him, read the Scripture with him. I brought him into the small group of believers I was working with, baptized him, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He began writing beautiful poetry and has become a great blessing to Pashtun believers throughout Afghanistan.