WRITTEN BY A CAFE 1040 GRADUATE
“So, like, is it hard for your family?” Malee asked.
“Not really - I mean I definitely think my mom misses me, but she kind of always expected me to move away. She would always say that when I was little, my version of “homesick” was more like being “sick of home.”’
She laughed and I asked her a question I already knew the answer to about families here and if it was normal for people to move away.
Malee had been my language teacher for 2 months now and most of our conversations would get derailed in a similar fashion - I ask a question about culture or history or she asks me a question about anything under the sun and all of the sudden we’re an hour deep into something other than vowel pronunciation.
One day we sat in my little tiny apartment as Malee told me about her travels.
“I love traveling because of all of the different cultures. I don’t like being around the same thoughts and same traditions all the time, I like to learn about other things,” she said.
Malee explained how she loves to learn about religions and I asked her about some of her studies in Islam and Buddhism. I asked her if she had ever read about Christianity before and she thought for a second and said no, that she had never really been around it before.
I pulled out my Bible and handed it to her, explaining that it tells the story of Jesus and pointed her to the gospels as a good place to start. She told me that she had never seen a book like that before and began flipping through the pages. “It’s beautiful!” she said and I explained how the first half tells of creation and of Jewish history and then the Savior, Jesus comes.
I pray for her often and marvel at how in tune she is with the first half of the gospel - that we are all broken people and that no one, not one is righteous.
It used the shock me with how in tune with the state of humanity she is. Then the Lord reminded me that that’s one of the many ways he’s tugging her heart.
Then the Lord reminded me that that’s one of the many ways he’s tugging her heart.
“You know it’s funny how you said earlier that religions exist to teach people to be good, because that’s actually not at all what Jesus teaches.” She’s skeptical.
“Everything you always tell me about people being broken - Jesus teaches that as well. He knows that we are broken and that we need help, so instead of caring about what we do or don’t do, he cares about our hearts.”
“But doesn’t the Bible have a list of things that tell you that you can do this and you can’t do that?” she asked.
“Yes, the Jewish history tells of a law that teaches us not to steal or not to kill, but over and over again they broke it. That was why Jesus had to come, because the people were sinful and in need of a savior.”
That was why Jesus had to come, because the people were sinful and in need of a savior.
We talked for probably another half an hour about our brokenness and about the goodness of the Father. She left in a frenzy to get off to her next class and as she walked out the door, I about started crying.
She didn’t start following Jesus that day - she didn’t really express any interest in it, if we’re being honest.
But that day she heard for maybe the first time in her entire life that there is a God who loves her and who has made a way to be with her, and I’m thanking the Lord that He let me be a part of it.