Last night I sat in a smoke filled cafe with the sound of the Brazil v. Mexico World Cup match blaring over my head from a speaker from the ceiling. I was the only foreign born citizen in that cafe packed with men all facing the big-screen TV but I was not the only citizen of my country. There, in the back corner sitting in a circle focused on each other instead of in a row facing the TV, I sat with three Muslim born but born-again Christians from Morocco, all citizens of my heavenly city.
We had gathered to encourage a new believer named Shabib. He is the newest believer of the small house church in our city that we have started and this is the second time that I had heard his testimony. He grew up all of his life hearing that Islam was God’s only religion and Mohammed was the last prophet of God. At the young age of 16 he grew out his beard and joined a radical group called the Salafists. He never doubted Islam until one day when he watched a TV program in which the ex-Muslim evangelist was exposing all of the hate, contradictions, and lies that typify the Koran. He shared this with his Muslim friends and they spewed out anger and threats of death on this TV preacher. It stuck with Shabib what they said. They said that whoever killed him would have great reward in heaven. He agreed.
Last year, when Shabib was 22 he was working in Libya making more money than ever in this oil-rich country…at least he was making money on paper. He was in the city of Benghazi and once again was linked up with a Salfist Muslim group. This was the same group that had been responsible for the killing of the American ambassador Christopher Stephens and the other marines. He met the man who bragged about the killing and proudly showed off the automatic weapon he had pulled from the dead fingers of the marine.
Shabib’s mother became sick back in Morocco and Shabib went this his boss to request the money. They promised that he would be paid but that all the money was currently being sent to Mali to support the “Jihad” (Holy War) against the French. Of course the bosses were getting richer all the time. Shabib was furious. He remembered what that TV evangelist had said 6 years earlier. In his anger he cursed God and Islam to his coworkers. When his Islamic radical bosses heard this they attempted to kill him with the same weapon that had been taken from the American marines at the embassy. Shabib fled Libya and returned to Morocco with no money and no more faith in his religion.
Just six months ago Shabib had come to faith in the crucified Christ by reading about the huge difference between the love of Christ and Christians online and the hatred of Islam and Muslims. We were the first Christians he had ever met in person back in April. Now he is being discipled in our church and spoke about being baptized with excitement last night.
Did you know that when you sow the Gospel for the first time into the ears of an unbeliever that the seed takes time to sink in? Did you know that the Holy Spirit is going to need to bring this person through maybe years of experiences to prepare them? Did you know that if they never hear of Christ that they will never believe but if they hear from you that is all God needs to bring fruit many years later?
Share Christ with someone today even though you are scared! Don’t expect the fruit to come from the apple tree the first day that you put the seed in the ground. Pray and trust God to do His work in His time!