Let’s call him Shabbir. He began his search on the Internet. He had been living in Scotland whilst studying and decided to travel to Liverpool to explore further studying before returning home to Iran. This didn’t work out, so his mum insisted he visited a relative in Bournemouth.
He had been there for two days when he decided to investigate what people do in a church. He liked the website of a small fellowship nearby and went along on Sunday. The pastor, Siedel, was preaching to the congregation of 40 on making a decision for Jesus- it was Back to Church Sunday. Afterwards, Shabbir approached and started talking. Did the sermon always mention a decision? Would someone be available to discuss the Jesus of Christianity? Siedel ensured that he was very available and met up with an open Bible and a listening heart. As they began to talk about the differences between the Muslim faith, Christianity,and Zoroastrianism, Shabbir asked “Please be gentle with me”, as though he was not a devout Muslim he didn’t want to hear the faith of his family talked about in derogatory terms. Siedel was gentle and respectful and the conversations continued. As he analysed the characteristics of both religions, Shabbir summed it up like this. “So it is like comparing new electrical appliances , they sit before me but Christianity is the only one to offer a warranty!” During the course of the next few days he continued to meet up, discuss and soak up the literature.He read three gospels in three days. By the following Sunday he made a decision to choose Christ and asked to be baptised. He has now had to move out of his relative’s house as the literature he has been reading and his new faith will put his life in turmoil and perhaps danger. He hopes to continue studying.
Sometimes God brings those who are searching right to our doorsteps. How exciting! His journey to faith in Jesus seems to have taken one week! Pray for this young man as his baptism approaches. And look out for who God might be sending into your church or life.
‘Always be ready to give a reason for the hope that you have, but do it with gentleness and respect.’ 1 Peter 3 v15