When Necessary Use Words
My husband and I lived in the Middle East for two years. The country was very accepting and tolerant compared to the standards of other Muslim countries. A very large ex-pat community, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindu worshippers lived side by side. We were allowed to practice our faith, but the Christian communities were confined to worship on one compound. No evangelization was allowed. Not even community service. I was certain God had sent me there for a purpose. I was very disappointed to learn that I would not be allowed to work in learning centers for children or even allowed to distribute clothing and food to the needy.
When it was discovered a group of Christians were evangelizing on a local college campus, the authorities threatened to close down our entire Christian compound. My weekly worship sessions were my stronghold. Worshipping with other Christians at least once a week gave me strength to be so far from my loved ones. I would have been devastated to have that taken away, so we became even more cautious.
Still our actions, my husband’s in particular, were under constant scrutiny. We were considered the odd ducks because we didn’t live the lifestyle of most foreign workers. Drinking and nightlife were not our primary focus. Giving and forgiving were tenets we practiced and lived by. Fidelity in our marriage and honesty in our friendships ruled our everyday life. Very soon, my husband found himself answering questions from his Muslim coworkers about his steadfast faith and Jesus.
Being far from home reminded us that our daily lives are our first ministry. It’s a simple truth spoken centuries ago by Saint Francis of Assisi when he said, “Preach the gospel daily…and when necessary use words.”
Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.