So many of our non-Christians happen to be Hindu. This has been an area of apologetic focus for me, as I have been engaging with dozens (at our last home group, 5/9 guests were Hindu). In fact, I get to meet one-on-one with three Hindus every week for private Bible studies. They love it. They genuinely enjoy learning about the Christian faith. Two of them, Aaron and Jason (names changed for privacy) are still committed to Hinduism. One of them, Raymond, is more open to trusting Christ alone. He has been personally reading the Bible we gave him as a gift! He is so thankful for the daily encouragement and challenges.
Interestingly, very few Muslims have regularly joined us for our Bible studies. There are theological and cultural reasons for this, I think, but most recently I have had the privilege of connecting with a Stevens student, who happens to be a devout Muslim.
Stanley (name changed for privacy) attended an event in NYC organized by the ISI team there (International Students Inc). My teammate noticed Stanley was friendly and engaging, and that he lived in Jersey City but was a student at Stevens in Hoboken. He introduced us through text, and as any good missionary would, I invited Stanley out for a conversation over ice cream!
We enjoyed ice cream and met for three hours! At first I learned that Stanley comes from a wealthy and educated family in a war-torn middle-eastern country. He has his family here with him while he pursues his masters as a computer scientist. We then transitioned to faith.
Stanley was ready. He went on and on with arguments for Islam and against Christianity. He asked questions. He made it clear he was open to Chrisianity if presented with evidence against the Quran. Of course I did my best defending the faith, but also I was covering the interaction in prayer, knowing there was more of a spiritual battle at play than mere intellectual tit-for-tat.
After that meeting, I reached out to my old friend Brendan who does ministry exclusively with Muslims. Stanley was willing to meet both of us in the pursuit of truth. We met again on Monday, April 10, for another 3 hour conversation. Once again, Stanley was ready to poke holes in Christianity and ask difficult questions. My friend and I responded with truth, but we made sure to always bring back the conversation back to the gospel – emphasizing that our God was willing to pay the ransom for our sins through the death of the Son of God on the cross.
Both of our meetings were totally friendly. Stanley appreciated when we challenged him, and we obviously welcomed any questions. What my new friend Stanley helped me see is that in evangelism we must also play the long game. We must keep praying, keep sharing the gospel and keep engaging with non-Christians. One-time evangelism has its place, but people need to keep rubbing shoulders with God’s people, so that they may be awakened to The Truth of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So I ask, please pray for me, Jenn and the whole team of ISI staff and volunteers as we do this again and again. Pray also for the students above specifically, as I will continue to engage them with friendship and the truth of Christ. Our Risen Savior has commanded us to share His message with the whole world, and we ought to do so as often as possible.
Finally, thank you! Your generosity has put these Bibles, ice cream and dinners in the hands of the students mentioned in this prayer letter and many more! Thank you for believing in the “long game,” praying and giving so we may pursue this style of ministry.
Great to hear about all the different events and to learn about individual students from Hindu and Muslim background that are hearing the gospel.
Will be praying for you and all the family.
Also for Raymond and Steve.
I am currently in training for evangelism, deliverance ministry, prophecy and healing ministry online with a pastor (Mike Signorelli from V1 church). Also I am doing physical therapy for a recent back injury. Thanks for the update😊🙏🏻