The Smell of Smoke: The Aroma of Christ

By Alexander Pierce*, May 31, 2018

Each year, we lead a two-week mission trip in the Muslim-majority city where we serve. During the trip, participants offer English conversation practice to Central Asian university students during their summer vacation. We spend most of the time in small groups—one or two members of the short-term team with six to eight local students.

One year nearly everyone in one of the small groups of students was interested in the gospel. The two team members told the group that they would really get down to some spiritual issues the next day. Aside from the one local student who wasn’t interested and didn’t come that day, all of the students in the group heard the gospel, and every one of them received Christ.

To mark this step, the team members told the group to write their past sins on a small piece of paper, crumple it up, and put it in a bowl on the table. Then a team member lit the pieces of paper on fire and burned them up. Smelling smoke, one of the college administrators poked her head in the classroom to see what was going on. “Oh, you’re practicing English. Go ahead,” she said, and walked away.

Indeed there was a fire, but not the kind the administrator was thinking of. God’s Spirit was at work, changing hearts and lives.

*Alexander Pierce is an MTW missionary serving among Muslims in Central Asia. His name has been changed for security reasons.

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