Chris Williams, MC
“Be still.” This is something I’ve had to work on and be intentional about. This week has had its fair share of high and low moments doing EV and follow-ups. At the beginning of the week I planned to follow up with everyone I had met in the past few weeks but they all ended up cancelling on me. One guy had to work an extra shift, another had to take a friend to the hospital, and a basketball game with one guy was cancelled because the gym was closed. Other things like that seemed to happen, where we would make plans but then they ended up not working out. Welcome to long term M work, right?
Instead of doing follow-ups, we did more EV in parks and malls. We got to share with a lot of people but none of them were all that interested in what we had to say. Planting seeds can be exhausting sometimes because we never know if what we share with them will stick or take root in their souls. But we know that Father is at work and that laboring for his kingdom and for his glory is never in vain.
We went back into the slums, got to teach English for the first time, and it was such a fun time! About 30-40 men, women, and children all gathered together on the ground outside their homes and we brought charts and a dry erase board and taught them the alphabet. They picked the alphabet up pretty fast and it was really cool to further our relationships with them. However, while we were there, there was some confusion and there was a guy who was uncomfortable with us being there, trying to stir up trouble. We left and have not been back since because we need to wait until things die down and see if we will be able to go back.
Later in the week, things got better and more encouraging. I was able to meet with my friend Stefan* and we got to hang out and catch up a bit. Since the last time we talked, his knowledge and understanding of the Son has greatly increased, so you could tell he’d been doing research. But he still believes Him to be a special guru along with people like Mohammad and Moses. He understands the Good News, but doesn’t believe the Son is the only way to Father. He thinks all beliefs lead to Father and that everyone just finds their own way. It’s hard and sad to talk to someone who is so kind and recognizes how amazingly special the Son is, yet does not see the Good News as truth and does not recognize who the Son REALLY is. But Father is moving in his life and his understanding of the Son is increasing. Hopefully, he will dig deeper before we meet again next week as I plan to give him a copy of the Word in his language and walk through John with him. Be thinking about Stefan* this week.
We got to PW in my neighborhood this week and as we were talking to Father, we asked him to give us the opportunity to be invited into a home so we could share. And not even kidding, after maybe like 2-3 minutes of asking for that, after we had been PWalking around for like 45 minutes, 2 houses and 2 families invited us into their homes! We got to have some good discussions, and we are planning to go back and see them again! They are both cousin homes. We plan on doing Storying with henna at the first home and then having dinner with the second home. Man, look at Him working!
Ramadan ended and we went to a massive gathering early Wednesday morning where thousands upon thousands of our cousins met for morning prayer. It was at the biggest mosque in the city where I shared with my friend Sam* a few weeks ago and it was another sobering and surreal moment. I went there to take pictures and videos for the company and some cousins let me inside the mosque to capture the massive gathering. Inside and outside the mosque were thousands upon thousands of men dressed in white who all were on their knees facing Mecca reciting Arabic prayers and bowing to Allah. There were so many people there that they blocked off one of the busiest streets in the city so that as many men as possible could participate. Cousin women are not allowed to pray and participate in the religious exercises of their faith in this country. So many of them were standing outside the streets in fully covered Niqabs begging for money. One of the hardest things to see was the many young children that were participating or standing by as their parents participated in the prayer. It was heart breaking to see that so many of them are growing up in families where they are going to be taught what their parents believe is true, even though it so far from the truth. I couldn’t help but think to myself “Man, what if I was like one of these kids born into a cousin family? What if one of these kids were my own? Why is it that I was fortunate enough to be born into a believing family and yet these kids aren’t?” It was overwhelming but also another powerful reminder of why I am here. I know the truth of the Good News, not to just keep it to myself, but to make it known in places like this where the Good News is not known.
When vividly seeing how great the need is here and how lost so many people are, it can be easy for me to get task-oriented and caught up in setting plans, goals, and strategies on how to reach the most people in the limited time I have here. However, Father has convicted me and reminded me that spending time with him and being still in his presence is far more important than focusing on doing and doing.
“Be still, and know that I am (Father). I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!” Part of me is like “Father, how can I be still when there is so much to do and so much to get done and not enough time to do it?!” And then his 3rd person convicts me and reminds me that he is the one in control and he is the one who is actually doing the work. His name will be exalted among all peoples not because of anything I’ve done here but because of all that he has done and will continue to do in the lives of the lost. All he calls us to do is to be still and to abide in him. It is only through abiding in him and being with the Father that we will bear fruit that lasts and it is only through him that his name will be exalted in the lives of the cousins, neighbors, and other lost people here in this city.
It’s not easy surrendering to the Father’s control even after becoming a brother because we sometimes like to think we know what is best for our lives and we think we know what is best for his kingdom, but we must remember that he is Father and we are not, and to just be still and listen to his voice and obey.
*Names have been changed for security purposes