by a Pioneer in Central Asia
Jenny jumped when she saw Jesus—resurrected from the dead—appear to the disciples in the upper room. For two hours her eyes were glued to the screen as she, her husband and five other Muslims of various ages and backgrounds watch The Jesus Film based on the Gospel of Luke. On the night before Easter, the Lord provided the opportunity to watch this film, entirely in their heart-language, with a special introduction and closing added specifically for Muslims.
Two young men sat quietly. They weren‘t supposed to be there, but the Lord had other plans. Earlier that day, my husband tried to call and invite a new friend. In the Lord’s providence, he misdialed. It took him a minute to realize that he had miraculously connected to an old friend—Earl—who we haven’t seen or heard from in two years. In 2008, Earl was our tea-selling, migrant worker friend who moved to another province at the same time we came to the US to get married. When we returned to Central Asia, we thought we lost track of Earl forever. His phone number never worked, his old apartment was empty. Then, two years later, on the very day we are showing The Jesus Film, my husband calls Earl’s old phone number by accident. The Lord reconnects us with Earl. We find out he is now married. We invite him to The Jesus Film. Earl not only comes, but also invites a friend of his along.
“That was such a good movie! Would you lend it to me so I can show it to all my husband’s friends?” Walking home, Mrs. Jenny Field talks about how Jesus is our substitute, just like the lamb Abraham sacrificed. The gospel is beginning to make sense. “Will you come to my house tomorrow?” she asks.
The next day (Easter), it is clear Jenny’s husband has been thinking about the movie. Mr. Field shares with my husband, “We (Muslims) believe that Judas was crucified. Everyone thought it was Jesus, but they grabbed Judas by mistake.” Mr. Field wasn’t argumentative; he was really trying to make sense of things. My husband asks, “What about Jesus’ mother? She watched Jesus be crucified. Would she have recognized whether or not it was her own son?” Mr. Field nods, saying he hadn’t thought about that and returned to his pondering.
This friend was disruptive. He kept silent the first half of the film, but then started loudly remarking to Earl, “This isn’t the same as what Islam teaches!” Praise the Lord no one else was interested in starting a discussion with Benji. Instead, Earl replied, “Jesus is one of our prophets, so we should learn about Him.” Although Benji continued to make remarks from time to time, no one cared to listen. Instead, they expressed frustration that he was making it hard for them to hear about Jesus.
Please pray for Benji, Earl, and the Fields to embrace Christ. Ask also that God will reveal Himself to countless other unreached peoples this Easter.