Written by a Cafe 1040 student
Since being in this city, we have had many classes on North African Culture and Islam. So many classes have been informative and helpful in understanding why the Gospel has had trouble in the 10/40 window!
Further, we have been studying bridges and barriers within this culture to our Christian beliefs. One of the biggest things I've learned about Islam is that they believe we worship three Gods,
It is inconceivable to them that our God has a son, and further, that he would give him up as a ransom!
This culture is very male oriented, and having a first born son brings great honor to a family. Further, they believe that man is sinless at birth and has no real need of saving. So they see Jesus’ sacrifice as meaningless and senseless
Learning these two things has helped me understand why forgiveness is almost a foreign concept in this culture and why they had no translation for the word “grace.” Additionally, it taught me why our message was so controversial to their understanding as a people and nation.
On average, it takes almost 10 years of relationship and work with Muslims to begin to see people come to relationship with Jesus. This amazing phenomenon did not make sense to me at first! How could it take 10 years? But, after meeting Muslims and seeing the importance of relationship, i can believe it does.
Nothing in North Africa, or the Muslim world is done quickly. They eat slowly, walk slowly, and grow relationships slowly. It makes sense then that helping them find relationships with God would take some time.
So often we want to see results quickly from our work, and hope that many will respond immediately to the Gospel. But what I am learning is that work here is different. It is not done by my power, or might, or accomplishments. After all, I am not the one with the ability to change hearts, minds, or culture!
Instead, work here is done by abiding in God and obeying Him when He tells me to speak, and when He tells me to be quiet, and when He tells me to simply rest and let Him do the work.
This type of obedience isn't easy, but it is beautiful! As I let His love crash over me and the people here as His waters crash into the ocean sand, I am reminded of the passage in Isaiah 6:8. He is asking us to be merely be obedient like so many others before us.
He will do His will on earth. I once asked God why He hadn't come back, His answer was that not all of this children are home. Revelation 8: 9, 10 shows God’s will, and He is asking us to be apart of it! How Amazing!