Have you heard the expression “Boots on the Ground?” Well our Live Dead Missionaries are the boots on the Silk Road. Here we’d like to take a moment and allow one of them to share part of their life with you. Some names and details have been changed, but this is a true story from this colorful, vibrant, and sometimes surprising region and those who God has called to work here.
Life has looked very different the past two months along the Silk Road in the middle of this world-wide pandemic. Normally the city I live in is full of people, it is noisy, and it is crowded. But now? There are few people out, it is quiet, and it is empty. Normally I spend my days with natives in coffee shops, in homes, and in parks. But now, I spend my days with natives via phone calls and video chats. As most days happen inside the walls of my apartment, I am challenged to ask myself what is the invitation of Jesus in this season of life. What is the invitation of Jesus for the people I live in this city with?
I’ve been carrying this question with me ever since the first case of Covid-19 was announced here. About three weeks ago, shortly after the first case was annouced, I was video chatting with one of my native friends who is an extremely conservative Muslim. This friend and I have had many conversations about our beliefs and how they differ. Not all of these conversations have been easy for us to have as there are stark differences in what I believe as a follower of Jesus and what she believes as a devout Muslim. My friend has always been more than willing to listen to me share my faith, but never once has she shown curiosity about anything I have said.
While we were chatting, she randomly said, “Hey, I think I want to start reading the New Testament.” I was caught off-guard when she said this and responded with, “I’m sorry, what?” Which probably was not the most graceful speech on my part. She, again, said, “I think I want to read your book.”
Like I mentioned, my friend has never shown any form of curiosity in any part of my faith, so I felt prompted to ask her why she wanted to read the New Testament.
She responded, “Well, you talk about it so much, I want to know what it says for myself.” For almost two years I have been sharing with my friend the Gospel and for the first time my friend is growing curious about what I have been saying.
So, what is the invitation of Jesus? I cannot speak for all of the population affected by this pandemic, but on behalf of my friend I think Jesus is inviting her to know who He is. What is the invitation for me? I think Jesus is inviting me to keep sowing in the lives of my lost friends even if two more years pass with no visible fruit.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
Please pray my friend would see and feel the invitation of Jesus clearly at this time.