I remember what I thought was going to happen. Activities like camping, fishing, working on cars, you know, guy stuff. After that, Muslim men would ask the important questions and Bible studies would quickly follow. Those men, captured by the Spirit, would then introduce their families to Jesus and the Muslim Background Believer Church would be planted.
My plan was so neat and tidy. It was comfortable for me. But, none of that worked. Much to the detriment of my “perfect” plan, God kept sending women and with them a small horde of children. And what was worse, He broke my heart for them.
After a very short mourning period for my neat plan, I set about what needed to be done. Playing with and looking after my small charges wasn’t without amusement. Hours of chasing children and giving in to requests to be picked up until my arms gave out that lead to being climbed on; it all had an unexpected result.
As the women saw how I behaved around them and their children, with consistent respect and enjoyment, they told their husbands. We found out our friends talked about my time with the children, my careful interaction with the women, and, most surprising to me, the way my wife and I interacted.
The women found my actions outside of their expectations. What happened next was certainly outside of mine. The men came to me and thanked me. Thanked me for loving their families and some even asking why. I told them it was because Jesus loved me that I loved people.
But now I am called uncle by the children, brother by the women and even some of the men. What is next I can only guess, but I know His plan will prevail. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
I praise God for the many relationships I have with Muslim men and pray that many will put their faith in Christ!