When I was in college I got a call from my friend, Ed. What he said shocked me.
“You need to go meet the Imam.”
I did not expect to hear those words. I served in a ministry to international students and was used to meeting with Muslims, but trying to meet the leader of the local Mosque was taking things to a whole new level.
Ed went on to explain to me that the Imam was part of an unreached people group that he used to work with when he was a missionary in Asia. He had learned that this man was living near me and wanted me to meet him to try to reach him.
I reasoned with Ed. “I do not think I’m qualified to do this. Maybe you should call one of my professors?” To that Ed responded, “Just pray about it and see what happens.”
So I prayed.
That night I went to spend time with one of my international student friends who was Muslim. During our conversation he asked me, “Would you like to go to the Mosque with me tomorrow?” I said, “Yes, but only if you introduce me to the Imam.” God had answered my prayer!
The next day I went to the Mosque with my friend and met the Imam. He was surprised to see a Christian at the Mosque so we had a great conversation about faith where I was able to share why I followed Jesus with him. As I left, he told me, “I am here five times a day. You are welcome to come back and talk to me some other time if you’d like.”
I did go back and talk to him several times. After many conversations I asked, “Have you ever read the Bible.” He said, “No, I am confused by all of the translations and do not know which one to read.” Because of that, I presented a Bible to him in his own language. He was touched and said, “Thank you. There is not much literature in my language.”
I wish that I could tell you that the Imam came to Christ, but I lost contact with him when I moved home after college. I do, however, have hope that God will speak to him through the Bible I gave him and give him an opportunity to follow Jesus.
Through this, I began to understand the words of Acts 17:26-27. “From one man [God] made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him…”
God has brought many unreached people from around the world to America. That gives American Christians a great opportunity to share the Gospel with unreached peoples across the street, not just across the world! You do not have to go on a mission trip to be involved in missions.