By a worker in North Africa
An hour before dusk, I wandered the main strip of the city asking God to lead me to someone with whom I could break the day’s Ramadan fast. I asked Him to lead me to someone who was ready to hear and receive the truth about Jesus. The moment I saw Zoumi, I knew this was God’s answer. I sat down at a table near his, and immediately, he invited me to join him in breaking the fast.
Over the next few hours, the opportunities to share the gospel were many, and Zoumi ate them up as quickly as his tomato soup after a long day of fasting. He wanted more! I told him there was more in our Holy Book and he asked where he could get one! Zoumi’s phone troubles made it impossible for us to arrange a follow-up meeting. But God had made it incredibly obvious that He had led me to Zoumi and that this was someone He had prepared to hear the gospel, so as I prepared to go out in search of Zoumi, I prayed: “God, if You are working in Zoumi’s life, lead me to him again.”
I continued to pray as I walked around our city of one million people. Within ten minutes, I found Zoumi!
“Did you bring me the New Testament?”
His first words should have come as no surprise considering the miracles that already took place in our encounters.
As we walked to a quieter part of the city to start reading the Gospel of Mark, a stranger greeted us on the road. After a quick “hello,” he turned to Zoumi while pointing at me. “This man has something to teach you. Listen to him.”
A few days later, I was overwhelmed in prayer for Zoumi. I could not deny that God was at work in his life, but despite all of the signs, I felt desperate that Zoumi would not yield to what God was doing. I cried out repeatedly in prayer, “God, have mercy on Zoumi!”
That evening, I met Zoumi. He shared that he finished reading Mark and was ready for more! We jumped in a taxi to hurry across the city to break the fast with some of his friends. I was nearly in tears sitting next to him in the taxi because the presence of God was so thick. The taxi driver had a prayer on repeat in the car for everyone to recite together. It was not so much a prayer, but a declaration. The speakers repeated: “God is having mercy on Zoumi.”
God, indeed, was showing Zoumi His mercy!
Zoumi declined joining his friends in the mosque for evening prayers so we could have some time to talk privately. “Can I go to church with you?” he asked.
“Why?” I replied.
“Because I want to be a Christian.”
Skeptical for no good reason, I drilled Zoumi for the next hour on the truths of the Bible. I asked him to repeat each of these key truths back to me in the way that he understood them. After each accurate explanation, I asked if he believed it. “Yes” was always the answer.
Zoumi’s friends rejoined us. They were frustrated that we had not prayed with them. They didn’t attack Zoumi though, but me. For the next two hours, they attacked everything I believed about Jesus—often aggressively and mockingly. I tried to explain what I believed the best I could, but little opportunity was given and less patience was shown. Zoumi sat quietly.
As Zoumi and I walked home, we picked up where we left off. “Zoumi, if you decide to follow Jesus, how are you going to respond when these guys talk to you like they talked to me?”
He half-rolled his eyes in the same way he had when I was mercilessly drilling him on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
“Why do you keep saying ‘if I decide to follow Jesus?’ I have already decided.”
Zoumi’s first days as a believer have been some of the most overwhelming and most joyful for us both. Tears of joy have filled my eyes since Ramadan began, and I haven’t been able to hold them back as I watch him sing Moroccan worship songs in the street, as he kisses the Bible each time he reads it, as he awkwardly mocks my words and movements in our prayer times, and as he helps me share the gospel with his brother.
God is having mercy on Zoumi!
Pray that Zoumi will grow in the Lord through discipleship despite the opposition all around him. God will use Zoumi to reach many more Muslims in his community. Also, pray that the Lord to guide and give wisdom to the worker who walks alongside Zoumi.