Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Calling

When God calls you to do something different than what you have always done, you will know it.  You won't have to wonder what God wants; He will make that perfectly clear.  God is not trying to trick us into doing something we don't want to do.  The Qaran says Allah is the greatest schemer, always getting the best of humans.  This is total nonsense.  God is not in the business of trying to trick anyone.  He wants our love and loyalty.  He respects us and adores us.  We are his children, and one doesn't treat children that way.

When God asked us to begin ministering to Muslims, I thought I was crazy.  I had never met a Muslim, and I didn't know where to look for a Muslim.  I didn't know where there was a Mosque, and frankly, I didn't really care to find one.  All we knew to do was pray and read about Islam.  Two months after we were called to this ministry, a Muslim girl entered our lives.  We were shocked, but we understood that God was working.  That was about two years ago, and we have met over five hundred Muslims.  We have had Muslim students, taught Muslim classes, had young Muslim men live with us, and met Muslims in the Mosques.  I would never have thought this possible for two country people in small town America.  When God gives us a mission, He provides what we need to do what He asks.  It's as simple as that.

God doesn't ask us to give up everything we have to follow him.  He just asks for what we are unwilling to give.  This is just an opinion of mine, but I do have a story to back it up.  Before we went to the Gulf to teach, we were looking at pictures online of the place we were going.  A pic came up that startled both of us.  We saw a woman in Muslim dress with the strangest looking burka we had ever seen.  I told my husband that that was the scariest thing I had ever seen, and that I sure wouldn't want to try to meet her.  God was simply preparing us for what was coming.

When we reached the Gulf, we were given an assignment to try to accomplish while there.  We were to find Bedu people and try to meet them, see if they spoke any English, and possibly tell them about Jesus.  We said that sounded ok but how would we know when we found Bedu.  Our contact took out photos and, (you can probably guess what's coming next) there they were, the women with the bizarre masks that we didn't want to meet, much less tell about Jesus. (What if they kill me?)  As I said before, God wants what we are not willing to give.

We had no idea how or where to meet these strange looking people, but we started praying and looking.  About two weeks later, we met our first Bedu.  He spoke no English, but tried to talk to us.  Through a translater, we learned that he was inviting us to his house.  We ventured out and within a month, we met around five hundred Bedu men and women.  We became friends with one family in particular, and even got to tell them about Jesus.  God is awesome!!!  

You don't have to know how to do what God asks of you.  You just have to be willing to obey.  God is not trying to make your life miserable, he is trying to give you the most wonderful and rewarding life imaginable.  He is trying to give you a little piece of heaven on earth.  Just trust him and go for it!!  I promise you won't be sorry.  It may be scary if you stop to think about what you are doing, so don't worry about it.  That is God's job.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Living on Gulf Time

When I wake up in the middle of the night, an e-mail is usually on its way from the Gulf.  When traveling to the Gulf, you are sure to have your days and nights mixed up.  Night there is day here, and vice-versa.

Life in the Gulf is not based on clock time as much as prayer time.  Rush hour is a half hour before and after evening prayer time.

Life is slower there.  No one gets in too much of a hurry to do anything.  The tasks of praying and eating are definitely more important than working and taking care of business.

Most people go off to work around seven in the morning.  About noon, everything shuts down for afternoon meals and naps.  If you want to buy food, gas, etc. from noon to six-thirty, good luck!  If you visit a home in the afternoon, by two o'clock they will show you a bed or show you the door.

As soon as six oclock evening prayer time is over, things get hopping again.  Shops and coffee shops re-open, evening social circles meet, and many people return to work until about eleven.

There is no such thing as over-staying your welcome in a Bedu home.  The important thing is not to insult your host by leaving before you eat.  Oh, and after you eat, then you visit and eat again.  After that, you drink Shai, eat again, and then near eleven, maybe say goodbye.  If you don't call or see friends for two or three days, they will think something is wrong.

In the Gulf, time spent socializing is considered time well spent.  And I think I would agree that relationships with others is what matters most in the end.  So maybe we should take a cue from our friends, the Muslims, and try taking some time out of our busy lives to nuture our fragile relationships with family, friends, and neighbors.