"I Love to Tell the Story"

What started as a seminary recruitment visit at a local university turned out to be a sweet opportunity to tell the precious Gospel story.

Recently, Dr. Daniel Davey went to a local university to participate in a lunch organized by a Christian student union. Dr. Davey had a few minutes to formally address the 30 students about the unique training opportunities that CBTS Virginia Beach provides those who want to preach the Word. After speaking, we stood at our table and talked with any students who wanted to talk.

As Dr. Davey was challenging one young man about his commitment to Christ, I spotted a young African man standing in the corner of the room – at a comfortable distance from the rest of the group. He was looking intently at a large map on the wall. (It was actually the biggest map I’ve ever seen. It was about 10 feet tall and 20 feet wide!) As I approached him to talk, we caught eyes and he smiled cordially. Then, with this map in front of us, we had a conversation I will never forget. He told me almost instantly that he was a Muslim from an African country who had only interacted with Christians on a handful of occasions. He had come to this lunch because he was fascinated by Christianity. Throughout the course of the conversation, he made several astounding (and profound) statements:

“It is very interesting that you have a choice to be a Christian. Where I live, you are a Muslim from the day you are born. You don’t ever choose to be Muslim.”

“I have only had a couple interactions with Christians, and I have enjoyed each interaction. They have something I want.”

“I grew up being taught that Christians were evil. I actually felt guilty when I walked into this Christian lunch. I had to look behind me to make sure no one from my country saw that I came in here.”

“It is normal news in my country to read about a group of Christians being executed because they were conducting a Bible study.”

 “I have thought to myself many times, ‘What if I become a Christian?’ And the thought of that is so heavy for me. Because if I ever go back to my country, I would be rejected by my family and probably killed.”

“I have heard about missionaries who have come to my country, and I could never figure out how they would be willing to risk their lives to be a Christian in my country.”

Praise the Lord, I had the opportunity to tell this young man why missionaries go across the world and risk their lives. I turned and pointed to the enormous map in front of us. “They’re willing to die because they want the whole world to know that Jesus died for them!”  He looked at the map and made one more statement I will never forget:  “I thought that Jesus died only for Americans.”

I felt chills go up and down my whole body as I realized I was the first one to tell him that Jesus died for the whole world – including those in his country. I once more turned to the enormous map and pointed to the various continents – “Jesus died for Americans. Jesus died for Africans. Jesus died for Australians. Jesus, the Creator, died for His entire creation.”

What a joyous privilege it was to tell the story of Jesus to this young African man. I don’t know how his story will end. The difficult words of Jesus in Matthew 16:24-25 are more real for him than any of us can imagine. He was hesitant to give me any of his contact information, but I gave him mine. Maybe one day he’ll contact me. Maybe one day I will see in heaven. I pray to that end.

Posted by Edward Estes with