"Tell Them a Story"

Just the day before our language tutor had asked me to tell him the parable of the Prodigal Son in Romanian for language practice. And now I was standing in my kitchen doing dishes, while Alexa* was cleaning the house and her daughter was watching TV in our living room. That's when those words popped in my head. It certainly wasn't a specific voice. But it was a specific thought. So after a few minutes of inner debate, I put down the soapy dishes, dried my hands, and walked into the living room to sit next to the 12-year-old girl. We talked about the show she was watching—the Romanian version of America's Got Talent. I asked her about her life at home and what she does for fun and about her recent hospital visits. Then I asked.

“Do you want to hear a story that is important to my culture?”

Without hesitation, she said yes. So I told her, to the best of my language ability, about the son who basically wanted his father dead in order to have his inheritance, who then squandered the inheritance, who then went back to his father and surprisingly received full forgiveness, acceptance, and love. And that was it. Alexa was done cleaning soon thereafter, and my kids woke up from their nap. It was quite anti-climactic. But I felt convinced that the Lord had led me to do that.

The next week Alexa returned and mentioned that her daughter had told her about the story, so we read the story to her in Romanian. We talked about the story a little, and she said it was a beautiful story.

“Would you like for us to tell you some other stories that you can then take home and tell your kids?” I asked.

She said yes. So that day while she was cleaning, I read to her about the Good Samaritan and gave her some historical context about Israelites and Samaritans. We printed out the story and sent it home with her.

The next week she was at our house a little early and sat with us at the lunch table before starting her work, and it was time for our family devotion. We read in Romanian for her sake, so she heard a portion of the Sermon on the Mount. After that, we were talking, and that's when she told me that she has heard the name of Jesus but didn't know anything about Him.

“Jesus is a very interesting man,” I told her. “He is the only person in history who has ever raised Himself from the dead. And He could do this because He is God. Would you like to know more about Him?”

The next time she came, we told her the story of the paralytic man who was lowered through the roof. Then we talked about how she's scared for her daughter in the hospital, and I told her about losing our baby last year. I said that when I face really sad or really difficult times, my hope is based in God's promise to one day change this world and take out all the bad things. As she asked more questions, we were able to tell her about Easter, Jesus's death and resurrection, and His promise to restore the whole world. And how much He loves us. We gave her a copy of the New Testament in Romanian. Then she asked one of the most important questions.

“Who is God?”

I think I have a better understanding of why Jesus told so many stories. People like stories. And stories lead people to ask their own questions. Please join us in praying for Alexa and more opportunities to tell people about Jesus's awesome story.

*Name has been changed.

Catalina Kreider serves with MTW in Romania.

Catalina Kreider, Brasov Romania Apr 12, 2018
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