Written by a Cafe 1040 Student
Last week, our team had the chance to visit a fishing town of approximately 150,000 people scattered into a handful of villages up and down the rivers of the area. Each of these villages were deeply rooted in the Muslim belief system (the dominating religion of the Middle East). The region as a whole is considered UUPG. In the village where we mainly stayed, only one man, Alex*, spoke English. This man is well respected in his village and incredibly devout in his belief to Islam. Our first day, he took us on a boat tour of the villages and to a place of worship, where he began telling us more about Islam. I was impressed by his passion for his beliefs.
Before we left, a swarm of children followed us around the village and we were able to play with them. As I got back into the small boat, I remember looking at their faces and feeling my heart break even more. Who was going to tell them about the Father's Love? Who will return to these people and show the elders, the children, the parents what true Hope is? My heart was heavy.
Later that evening, Alex brought us to his home for dinner and we were able to ask him questions about the Muslim culture in Asia as opposed to the Middle East or even Australia, as well as how that religion has personally impacted him. I was again impressed by his devotion to the whole religion. I kept thinking, "Holy cow if this man were a Believer he could transform this whole village."
Before we left, Alex mentioned that someone had given him a Bible and he had been reading it. All of us turned REAL fast.
Our team leader asked him what he thought of it. Alex said, "I don't know. I think it is good to have answers and to seek to understand many religions. I do not believe my religion is wrong, but if it is, I want to know why and what is the right one."
Wowowow!!! The Father is stirring up something in Alex's heart. I get chill bumps thinking about what He could do in his heart and life and village.
This morning, I was reading in the Bible about the Holy Mountain of the Almighty. It says, "It shall come to pass in the latter days.... All the nations shall flow to it [The Mountain]... neither shall they war anymore.... Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His Glory."
My heart hurts for the people in the village that have no idea who Jesus is, but this passage reminded me that one day, EVERY tribe, EVERY tongue, EVERY nation, EVERYONE. Everyone will one day know who He is and know what real Hope is.