“How will they hear unless someone tells them?”
This was the call to action that rang through my mind as a young Geography undergraduate on my University campus in Reading.
Coming here 8 years ago, to this newly modern and constitutionally secular nation, yet officially majority Muslim culture rooted in centuries of Islam, the question remains, but with different challenges. “What does it look like to tell of the love of the Father to people who know little of the Koran yet believe in a general understanding of an ‘Allah’?”
Kayla’s* journey to faith has been a real encouragement to us. She has written her amazing story in her own words.
“In 2012 I remember the very first day when I stopped on that bridge at the entrance of the University to take a look at a leaflet about English conversation groups given by Lawrence, who at a later stage would help me on my journey, sharing some of his knowledge, truth and views on Jesus Christ and Christianity.
I was feeling like I was in a total emptiness, just like I had fallen down in a well, completely isolated in spiritual meaning. Even when I was on the go with life, education, money, career and family, I was still searching for something spiritual and unseen that would give me real happiness.
I was living as someone who was born and raised in a Muslim culture but to which I never felt I belonged.
Even when I was fasting in the month of Ramadan, I was just showing compliance to my family. When everyone in my family was fasting, I would be the weird one if I didn’t do that. It was also difficult when it came to the way I was supposed to dress. According to my conservative family and relatives, “Muslim women shall not wear short-length garments such as shorts above knee-length”. None of this made sense to me, and, also, I never truly felt close to the Allah that the Muslim world was teaching me about.
I was also far away from love because, before coming to faith in Jesus Christ, I didn’t know before that God created this world because he loves all of us!
That summer I hosted foreign students from a summer team who all contributed to the improvement of my English language skills. It was also thanks to my guest from the UK that I went to a real church service for the first time here in my city. While sitting in that chair, I was listening to the service but still the other half of me was not feeling so comfortable inside – you know, ‘What would I possibly be doing here as an adult Muslim!’
Turning on the lights
Sometime later, I asked a Christian friend how she would describe “love” and without hesitation she said, ‘Jesus, the Son of God.’ Then I directly asked her, ‘How can a prophet be the Son of God? God must be so holy and unique that he can’t have a wife and then give a son to the world!’ She explained some historic truths from the Bible about this question. That day after returning home, her explanations slowly started turning the lights on in my mind with this question, ‘Can this have any possibility of being true?’ But it would be 5-6 years later that I came to understand what she meant!”
Opening the eyes of the heart
Up until graduation Kayla came along. Then after a gap of not seeing her, out of nowhere, one day in October 2017 Kayla showed up at church. She asked to see my wife and I with her question, “Is Jesus God or the Son of God?” Following this, I and another lady from church started introducing her to Jesus using John’s Gospel.
Kayla said: “In February 2018 I was encouraged to finally start my journey with Jesus.
That March was the time when I came to realise that the eyes of my heart were just closed, after which I believe they have been opened by Jesus!”
In November she was baptised.
Kayla has been a great encouragement to me to remain faithful in planting seeds and patiently waiting for God’s timing. Please pray for the growing student movement here and especially for student leaders to be raised up.
*Name has been changed