I love hearing from those who hit the streets with me! In this post, Danielle shares about our experience at Tim Horton’s last Thursday. She’s a faithful woman who loves Christ and is zealous to reach out to others with His love. Check out what happened!
Last Thursday, Paul and I had the opportunity to talk to the people of Don Mills about the gospel of Jesus. Our conversation with a young Muslim woman named Nadia really struck me.
Paul and I had gone in to Tim Horton’s because he needed to use the washroom. While waiting for him, I noticed a young woman playing with her phone. I went up to her, introduced myself and explained that we were going around talking to people about Jesus, and asked if I could sit down. She smiled a little bit and agreed.
Before long, I found out that Nadia was a Sunni Muslim and was eager to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan the following day. She explained that for Muslims, Ramadan was a month of fasting and doing more good deeds than usual: donating to charity, for example. We got into a discussion about the role of doing good works and the difference between salvation by works and salvation by grace through faith. At first she was insistent that Muslims and Christians believe the same things, just that “the name for God is Allah and the name for Jesus is Mohammed.” Paul gently but firmly explained to her that Mohammed lived after Jesus had died and risen, and that they weren’t the same person. Mohammed was a prophet. Jesus is the Son of God, God incarnate, who came to dwell with humans, eventually dying for us so that our sins may be forgiven.
Paul and I had the opportunity to share the gospel with her, pointing to the Bible as our authority and using our lives as a testimony. Nadia explained that although some Muslims treat Ramadan as only a one-month gimmick before going back to their normal lives, she tried to live a lifestyle of doing good works. I explained that although I had grown up with a similar mentality of trying my best to be good to make God happy and to earn His forgiveness, God is so holy in His righteousness that even my best attempts don’t meet His standard. I know myself, and if I had to be honest with myself, I know that I am a sinner and in need of God’s mercy.
I was really encouraged that Nadia was spending her break talking to us about Jesus. She was insistent that people are “born into” their faiths or religions. Paul and I gave examples of people we know who didn’t grow up in Christian homes but, by the grace of God, became aware of their sin and are now reconciled to God through Jesus. The conversation took a turn for me, however, when, instead of questioning or challenging us, Nadia simply said, “Well, how would you like it if someone in your home converted from Christianity to another religion?” She then explained that her family was very religious and that her branch of Islam is the strictest.
Paul urged Nadia to make an informed decision when making choices, not just because of familial pressures or fears. We offered her a copy of the gospel of Luke, which she accepted, and gave her my contact information. I pray that she would contact me and ask more questions or ask to check out church with me.
Our conversation with Nadia reminded me of the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, specifically the seed that was sown among the thorns: “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22). It seemed like Nadia was beginning to understand the gospel and was showing a lot of interest in Jesus, but she was worried about the cares of the world: what her family may say, perhaps.
Our conversation with Nadia was also a strong reminder to me that we are to fear God and not man. We must remember that God is the holy, uncreated, Creator God, and man is sinful creation. Jesus Himself said, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33).”
To the praise of His glorious grace!