Written by a Cafe 1040 Student
“I could hear the sounds of children laughing and motorbikes behind me, but as I looked out on the river I saw the blackness that was only broken by a few house boats. Our team leader motioned for us to come near him, “Our boat is here.”
We climbed down the cement steps to be met by a small, wooden, and shaky boat in the marsh. Once all six of my team members were on, our staff member pushed our boat into the river, hopped on, and we began our trip into the darkness to reach the remote Muslim village.
Many thoughts and prayers were crossing my mind, but they were cut short when we reached our landing point. We jumped out of the boat quietly, climbed up more cement stairs that looked like they may crumble at any minute, and ended up standing right in front of the mosque during the final call. As we walked past to our home stay, I could see men still in the prayer room praying to Allah.
Over the next two days, my team and I prayer walked, went into people’s homes, used hand motions to communicate, broke fast with them in the evenings, and went into the mosque to learn more.
Our last night in this village, we ate a very late dinner with a dear friend of one of the staff members, Sal. His wife cooked a delicious and local meal while Sal spoke to us passionately about his faith – why Muslim faith is right and the difficulties his people group has faced.
We asked many questions, including hard ones about Jesus, before we had to leave so that he could attend the last call to prayer. As we left, he looked us in the eyes and said, “I hope to one day see you all again, maybe even in heaven.” My heart broke. The sadness and hopelessness crept in. The reality of this country, this people, hit me again.
This people group is 0.00% evangelized. There are no missionaries. There is no Bible translation in their heart language. Their children will never attend a VBS nor will the parents attend a small group or church service. They have apologetics against Jesus and no one is here to love them enough to speak the truth. They are a minority group here and have laws set against them, not including the reality that the government does not want foreigners interacting with them.
I will not see Sal in heaven unless someone moves to or near this village, looks him in the eye, and walks with him as they share the Truth.
As we left the following morning, I thought back to my time in this small village. The hospitality that was shown, the laughter and smiles, the prayers that they would do in front of us, the spiritual warfare that me and my team experienced, and the comments I received on my ‘beautiful hijab.’
I thought forward to my returning to Base Town where I would see my local friend Annie again. I cried out to God, “It seems hopeless for this people group… for Annie who always says that our faith has gotten us both where we are and that they are both good. When will you send someone to these people to stay longer than a few days or months?”
Soon, He sweetly reminded me that He will receive glory and praise from every tribe, tongue, and nation. That His Will will be done among all peoples and that it is Him who does all the work, I am only invited to walk alongside Him and watch as people who have never heard the Good News soften and begin to sing praise to the Good Dad that He is. Although this is all true, He also reminded me that these Truths do not negate our command as His children and ambassadors to go. To pray for the 3.14 billion who do not have access to anything. For the 7,000 people groups who do not have a single church or missionary among them. To pray about what our role is in what He is doing among the nations.”