Hugs from the Father

22 Mar, 2017 | Switzerland
OM International
Two outreach team members share the Good News with tourists from the Arabian Peninsula in Switzerland.
Photo by Anja B.
Interlaken is a city located between two lakes in the middle of the mountains of Switzerland, and it attracts tourists from all over the world. Each summer, people from places like Japan, China and India crowd the promenades and parks. A major group of tourists comes from the Arabian Peninsula, where it is often forbidden to talk about Jesus’ love.

OM Switzerland, together with APP Europe and local churches, organises an outreach every summer to share the Good News with those people. Brenda* and her husband Rob*, from Canada, were part of an outreach team in Interlaken.

The couple had been assigned to watch the book table, to give out materials and to talk to interested people. The table displayed DVD’s, Injils (New Testaments) and literature in Arabic, as well as honeymoon gifts for young couples. At the booth hung a sign reading ‘Have you ever had a dream about Jesus?’ A barcode led to a website, where people could watch the Jesus film and find Christian literature.

A softened heart

On Brenda and Rob’s last day on the outreach team, they were standing at the book table when they observed a woman standing at a short distance. Watching her behaviour, they thought she seemed rather rebellious and therefore not very open to them. Still, Brenda prayed inwardly: “Father, if you want me to talk to her, let her come over here.”

Soon, the woman approached the table and Brenda explained to her, that they were here because they wanted to share Christ. Then they explained more to her about the literature displayed. The woman, who was from Bahrain, gratefully accepted different items, and even took an Injil.

God has great plans for you

After giving away literature to many people, Brenda approached two mothers with their two sons. The mothers did not speak English, so Brenda talked with the boys. One of the two asked about the book she was holding. She explained that it was an Injil, which tells many stories about Jesus—“stories that bring life,” she said.

While they were talking, Brenda saw a vivid sparkle in his eyes. This prompted her to say: “I believe God has great plans for you. You are going to discover them through this,” while she handed him the Injil. He gladly accepted it and his mother’s eyes were gratefully smiling.

Making heart connections

Soon after, Brenda approached another family: A mother who introduced herself as Savannah*, and her daughters. The mother looked very stern, so Brenda started the conversation by sharing where she was from. Then Savannah looked at the book table and Brenda noticed that she was reading the sign on the booth, so Brenda asked her whether she had ever had a dream about Jesus. The Saudi Arabian woman responded by indicating that, as a Muslim, she didn’t want to talk about Jesus.

For about half an hour, they talked about different things. Savannah shared that because of her faith, she loves everyone. Brenda offered her an Injil, but Savannah thought this would make a better gift for someone else.

Then Brenda started to pay closer attention to two of her daughters, Anna* and Leah*. She shared with them more about truth and life. The daughters pointed out that not all Muslims were bad. Brenda agreed: “I know. My heart breaks for what is happening in the world. I am sure it’s even more devastating for you.”

That moment was so special that they all cried and hugged each other. During all this, their baby brother did not stop crying. Brenda was allowed to hold him for a short time. Within two minutes, he was fast asleep in her arms. The whole encounter was very precious. After taking a few photos together and exchanging Facebook contacts, they bid farewell.

“It was such a treat,” Brenda shared. “I felt like the Lord just released me that night. I didn’t have many deep conversations, but felt I had made many heart connections throughout this evening. Each encounter seemed to me like a hug from my heavenly Father.”

Please pray for the different people Brenda encountered throughout the outreach. Pray that they meet Jesus and come to understand the truth and life that the Injil talks about.

*Names changed

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