Spreading the Gospel at the Grocery Store
*C has been on the Karis field for about five years. For the last two-and-a-half years, her ministry focus has been participating with her team’s church planting work, as well as teaching English through a local branch of a Christian relief organization. Her focus currently includes learning language, building relationships and personal evangelism.
About a year ago, I stood in the aisle of my neighborhood grocery store, basket in hand, trying to decide which brand of jarred tomatoes to buy. A lady suddenly approached me, speaking very quickly. My language comprehension was still pretty weak, but I eventually caught on that she was trying to raise funds for a local orphanage by selling handmade items from the children. She regularly volunteered her time at the grocery store on behalf of the orphanage.
After that, every time I saw her at the grocery store, she greeted me so enthusiastically! “I’m so happy to see you! I like you so much! I can tell you are a kind person!” We struck up a friendship.
One day at the grocery store, my friend, *Diana, felt inclined to open up about her life story to me. I was completely stunned by the tragedy and heartbreak she shared — losing her husband, daughter and everything they owned in a house fire, her son (and only remaining child) being drafted into the previous year’s war and returning an invalid, her myriad of health problems that prevent her from holding a job, living without electricity, heat, or water (and sometimes food) because they can’t afford it.
As she shared, we were just standing there in the grocery store aisle, weeping together. I had no idea that my sweet, friendly grocery store acquaintance lived such a life of grief and desperation.
Now, for the last several months, I’ve been hiring *Diana to teach me how to cook some of the local dishes and to help with housework. She told me, “I no longer have a mom, a dad, brothers, or sisters. I have no relatives. But God sent you into my life. You are my sister.”
With my limited language abilities, I’ve shared what I can about Jesus and his love for *Diana. Explaining spiritual, abstract concepts (like the Gospel) is still really difficult for me in the Karis language, but you know what I can do? Read! And so I’ll often ask her, “Can I read you something from the Bible today?”
She is a very committed Muslim, but she seems very open to hearing from the Bible. I’ve talked so much about how I pray in Jesus name, and she said once, “Sometimes I pray to Jesus, too” (even though she only views him as a mere prophet at this point).
I came back from time spent in the U.S. and arrived back to the Karis field just in time to celebrate *Diana’s birthday with her!
Please pray for *Diana with me. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be preparing her and opening her heart to accept and understand that Jesus is God (one of the most difficult Biblical truths for Muslims to accept). Pray that Scripture will take root in her heart. And please pray that God will continue to provide for her most basic needs, as food and shelter is a day-to-day struggle….and that she will recognize it as God’s hand in her life!