In Global Stories

I got to share the Gospel 3 times in the span of 2 weeks!

When I first moved here, I often saw local young people sitting at the seawall near where I run twice a week, and said to myself, “One day I will have made it if I can sit with locals on the grass there and chat the evening away.”

I met up with a language exchange person I met through an app, and unknowingly he fulfilled my dream, by getting some drinks and dried fruit and sitting on fold-out chairs on those same grassy areas chatting for 4 hours. 😊

Partway through he found out I was a believer and asked me straight out, “So what is Christianity anyways?” I asked him what he knew about it but he said absolutely nothing at all—except we believed in Jesus.

I asked him why he thought we were created, and I shared starting with God’s desire for a relationship with us, he agreed enthusiastically saying, “That’s right! I’m so glad you mentioned relationship with God, I think that’s the most important thing to focus on!”

He said he thought the two religions were similar and said we would see each other in heaven someday, God willing—we will meet up more in the future.

For the Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid Al Adha, the day I was born, in the Muslim calendar), I went to visit a friend and we watched sheep being sacrificed in remembrance of Abraham. Afterward, we went to his house and he started asking questions about the Bible. I got to share with him about the meaning of sacrifice and how for us Jesus is the ultimate and final sacrifice. My language was not as strong on this one, but with clarifying questions, I think the point mostly came across. 😊

And BONUS: another new friend joined (10 of us from church) an outing I organized to get to know each other. Later on, he ended up giving His heart to the Lord! Praying for an opportunity to pray together with him and the believer friend who brought him.

What’s God been saying?

One of my biggest weak spots is the feeling of being out of control of my life. This month has been an exercise in learning that I don’t really have much control over much of anything in this season, and it’s forcing me to rely on God in a greater way.

For example, I have to move in 2 weeks because our house is being torn down due to earthquake unreadiness, and I don’t know where we are moving yet! Rent prices have tripled in the last few months and vacancies are at all-time lows…trusting God with this.

Last week unannounced and effective IMMEDIATELY, the cost to register a foreign phone went from $300 CAD to $1,000 CAD INSTANTLY! That is more than the cost of my phone, and prices of local phones are going through the roof too. I love my phone’s camera, but now am not sure what to do…

Unfortunately, things like this happen suddenly and frequently…

Menu prices from a year ago have changed drastically, so basically, you can’t trust Google Maps menu pictures if they are older than 3 months!

After a new round of tax increases on goods (20-50% depending on the product), people are literally lining up to buy toilet paper before the increase takes place. The currency has fallen through the floor, but the inflation is still much higher. I really don’t know how locals are surviving…

I schedule to meet up with people all the time, but in the end, many people cancel last minute, and many new people ask to meet up at last minute, so it feels like I have no control over my calendar sometimes.

In the end, God has been challenging me to surrender my need for control. I’m so exhausted from battling all these changes all the time and am trying to come back to Him knowing that He knows all of these things before they happen.

I believe He’s bringing me to a deeper, unshakeable place of surrender that goes beyond what I see with my eyes to what I believe and know through His character. I’m glad He gave me such clear signs with my visa to show me that I am right where He wants me—in spite of all the confusion around!

Reflection Question: How surprised are you by changes in your environment outside of your control? How might God be challenging you to surrender your need to be in control and to trust Him in a new way in this season?

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for me to be able to process all the stuff happening in my life at the moment
  • I’m feeling quite tired all the time with all the stuff going on (taking naps often and still feeling tired). Pray for energy and health—I’m hoping to take a 2-day retreat next month, my Sabbaths have been lifelines.
  • My schedule is filling with people to follow up with—PTL! Pray for wisdom on who to invest my time with—I have a waiting list of people to see!
  • Pray for my language acquisition to be speedy (thank you so much, I feel gradually more confident to speak now and sustain longer conversations).

I deeply appreciate your prayers and encouragement,