by a Pioneers partner in Indonesia
We arrived very soon after the earthquake and have been clear with anyone who asks (and most do) that we are not Muslims, but are followers of the Way of God (Acts 18:26). They received us with open arms and even prayed with us many times in the name of Jesus. This is something I never imagined!
I helped one man named Oscar get an operation on a tumor that made it impossible for him to use his right hand. After a medical team from the U.S. came to provide a free medical clinic for quake victims, Oscar was one of a few that required further care—in a city about 1.5 hours away. The night before his operation, I stayed with him and his family at their home.
After dinner I said, “That was a great meal. So, what do you think? Would it better for us to talk a bit before we go to sleep?”
“It’s up to you”, they said. So I asked them if they thought it would be a good idea to read from the holy books and discuss it together. They agreed. So, they brought me a copy of the Qur’an. I opened it to Surah Ali Imron, the third chapter of the Qur’an. (This passage refers to Jesus as the Straight Way, the Greatest Name in heaven and on earth, born of a virgin, able to heal and raise the dead.) Since I do not read Arabic I asked one of them to read the passage.
When the older woman finished reading, I asked, “Does anyone know what that means?” Some said they did not understand. Some just looked down or away and others just remained quiet. (Muslims in Indonesia are taught to recite the Arabic texts, but the overwhelming majority does not know the meaning.) I said, “If no one knows the meaning, how about we just read the Indonesian translation? Whoever has one, please read it.” I sort of panicked when an older man read these verses. I have the passage memorized and it wasn’t the same version. Thankfully, though, the part about Jesus was very clear.