"...I'm trapped-literally. My whole generation is trapped. We don't believe any of this. It's my parents' generation. The religion...? All that, it's theirs..."
[God Reports] During a recent London Bridges Jesus Film Mission Tripô, one mission team had a welcome encounter while praying about whom to approach with the Good News. (Image via London Bridges Jesus Film Mission Trip)
The team leader shares:
Our team was enjoying the beauty of Hyde Park. While we walked, prayed and chatted about past mission trips, a team member asked me about my favorite people group. I mentioned a people living in a certain [closed] country on the Arab Peninsula. "Oh, maybe we'll meet somebody from there," the team member said. To which I insisted, "No, not here. I've never met anybody from [country] here."
We turned a corner and saw a group of young Middle Eastern women, traditionally dressed, sitting on a park bench. Scooting over, they patted the seat, signaling us to sit. So our group joined theirs-squeezed onto the same park bench together.
We asked them where they were from, and I was surprised and delighted to be able to tell them I had visited their country. It was the very one I had just shared with the team! One of the women exclaimed, "You know my country! You come with us; you stay with us for the day!"
We quickly bonded and enjoyed great conversation with them until they eventually looked at their watches and indicated it was time to go. They were hungry and it was time to eat.
I knew, of course, that it was Ramadan-a special time of fasting. So I asked them if they were Muslim and they said they were. I told them I was a Christian but that I hadn't been raised a Christian. They expressed surprise and indicated that they thought everyone in America was raised a Christian.
Then one of them asked, "How does a person become a Christian?"
Well, our team stood flabbergasted at this perfect opportunity to share the Gospel. So I told them my story:
"I didn't know either but I tried to be a good person. I always thought religions were like ice cream-different flavors but all involving praying, fasting, reading a holy book, and treating others as we want to be treated.
"But at the end of the day, my heart was still 'black.' Why would a God who created so much beauty [I gestured to the rose garden around us] accept me with my black heart?
"Well, I didn't know what to do so I turned to a friend of mine who always talks about God as if He were a friend... not stern and scary. I asked him how his life was different after he accepted the Lord and became a Christian. That's when he told me that God wanted to be my friend, too, and that I could know Him personally."
At this point, I explained the Gospel to the women. They were sincerely tracking with me through my personal story and about the Good News. The entire conversation was the textbook setup. And then the time came to ask them if they would like to accept Jesus.
"We can't," they all said, expressing their religious affiliation without hesitation. I was shocked by how abruptly our "perfect opportunity" had become a dead end...
Click here to read what happened next.