International (Frontiers) – This story comes to us from a long-term Frontiers’ worker. Because this takes place in a Muslim-dominant area, names and places have been changed for security:
Layla had been searching for spiritual fulfillment for years. First, she tried Islamic extremism. When that failed to fill her ache, she tried new age mysticism. But Layla still felt empty.
Little did she know that she was about to meet someone who could point her to the true source of spiritual peace and hope. Layla met Suzanne, a long-term Frontiers worker, about a year ago.
As an expert in language acquisition, Suzanne served other field workers in her North African host country by teaching them effective ways to learn various unwritten dialects. She knew that one of the most important keys to language acquisition was relationship with native speakers. “Language isn’t a thing that you get,” Suzanne instructed. “It’s a life that you live. You grow in the language by growing in your participation in the lives of those who speak the language.”
Suzanne had trained scores of Muslim language helpers, investing hours into each one. Eventually, Suzanne would connect her language nurturers to potential clients–most of whom happened to be fellow messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Suzanne’s language nurturers usually ended up in deep and meaningful relationships with followers of Jesus. The impact of these believers humbly sharing their lives with their language helpers often had eternal spiritual impact, exposing Muslims to the transformative power of Jesus Christ.
When she first met Layla, Suzanne immediately recognized great language-nurturing potential in the intelligent and conscientious woman. Layla had just the sort of temperament and gifting to help foreigners grow as effective communicators within the local culture.
Suzanne poured hours into training Layla, often incorporating stories of Jesus into their Sunday afternoon training sessions. Layla loved hearing these stories. Sometimes, she and Suzanne would lose track of time discussing what it meant to obey Jesus. She’d leave these sessions with a distinct sense that she was encountering the very thing for which she had been searching for so long.
For the first time in her life, Layla was discovering the One who could fill her spiritual ache. The week before Easter, Suzanne said to Layla, “We can’t meet this Sunday; it’s a special holiday for us.”
“It’s my holiday, too!” Layla said, surprising Suzanne as she professed her new faith in Christ Jesus.
Please pray for God to soften the hearts of Muslim language nurturers to see Christ Jesus in the lives of these long-term workers. Pray that many will find–as Layla has found–the One who fills our spiritual ache. And praise God for His work of grace in Layla, who has decided to be baptized into His Kingdom!