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A Providential Picnic: Coffee, Conversation, and Considering Adam

What do you get when a chaplain, a grad student, and an IT guy walk into a room?

In this case, not a joke, but three brothers who are ready to discuss the story of Adam.

Let me back up.

Our team lives and works in a large city with only handful of believers and no local churches. We are trying to openly speak about Jesus and invite people to study the Word with us.

Our teammates, Ted and Elizabeth,* took a walk one evening and ran into a local family who were picnicking. Ted greeted them, and straightaway they were invited to have coffee with them. The conversation moved quickly to spiritual topics, and they all agreed to meet another time to discuss the matters further.

The next week, Ted and I met with the two brothers, Ahmad and Mohammad.* We enjoyed sharing dinner and stories and learning about their backgrounds. They are originally from another city in our country. Ahmad is grad student in religious law, and Mohammad is the equivalent of a chaplain in a government institution.

A new Bible study group forms

Our conversations were wide-ranging, and I had the opportunity to share with them a simple, five-minute story of redemption from Creation to Christ that we have been practicing as a team. In the midst of our discussion, we suggested to them that while our conversation was fascinating, it would be even better if we could pick one story and discuss it. They agreed and we decided to meet next time to talk about the story of Adam.

A couple weeks later we got together again, and this time they brought another brother, Mahmood* (who works in IT). It was exciting to be able to share truth with all three of them because a great desire of our team has been to work as much as possible in family groups, not just with individuals.

Initially they brought up a number of traditional objections to our faith that we talked through before settling in to discuss the story of Adam. First, they told us the story of Adam and Eve from their faith, which has many similarities with the story in Genesis. Afterward, we read together portions from Genesis 1–3.

In those chapters, we highlighted how God made everything good and made humans very good. We discussed God’s warning concerning the fruit, “In the day you eat of it, you will surely die.” They agreed that this would be not only about physical death but spiritual death. We also discussed the repercussions of Adam and Eve’s sin and God’s provision, that after Adam and Eve sinned, they made clothes from leaves to cover up their sin and shame, and God provided clothes from animal skins, showing that God has to provide the solution to our sin and shame.

It was incredible for them to see all of those points in the text! We know it’s a privilege to get to speak truth into the lives of these men and to watch the Holy Spirit work. We hope to meet with them again soon to talk about the next stories in the history of redemption and we look forward to watching as God draws them to Himself.

Interested in serving in the Muslim world? Visit mtw.org/muslim to search for opportunities.

 

*Names have been changed.

John Stevenson* Feb 16, 2021
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