Last week, e3’s Director of Short-Term Trips led a mission trip to Northeast Africa. The team on the trip helped set up and run a medical clinic where they could examine patients, pray for them, and share the Gospel.
One day at the clinic, two teenage Muslim boys who were cousins – Amon* and Essam* – came to the spiritual counseling area. Kent, an associate pastor in Mississippi and trip participant, talked to the boys individually.
“When asked where he would spend eternal life, Amon responded, ‘I don’t know where I would go if I died,’” Kent said. “So I asked him, ‘How would you like to have certainty in your eternal life?’ He nodded yes. We continued our conversation, and he became a follower of Jesus Christ. We gave him a copy of God’s Word, and he stood up and shook our hands.”
Next, Kent spoke with Essam. He was eager to have a conversation with Kent, but his viewpoint was a bit different from his cousin.
“When asked about his eternal life, Essam quickly responded, ‘Good works,’” Kent said. “He used an example of how he helped a blind man cross a street. ‘How good is good enough?’ I asked him. ‘Only God knows,’ was his response. This is a typical Muslim expression to this question.”
Kent immediately launched into Ephesians 2:1-10, specifically focusing on verses 8 and 9.
“I told him that our good deeds don’t help tip the scale with God‘s favor for us,” Kent said. “It is only through the free gift of Jesus Christ can we be saved. We will never do enough good works to earn salvation, that Jesus paid that debt for us. We are saved by His works, not ours.”
Kent continued the Gospel conversation with Essam, and he also became a follower of Jesus Christ that day.
“The two cousins now walked out as brothers in Christ,” Kent said. “These boys’ lives will not be easy. They will not be welcomed with open arms by their family or community.”
Thankfully, this is not where Amon and Essam’s story ends, but where it begins. e3 Strategy Coordinators and national partners will follow up with these new believers to make sure they are being discipled and cared for. We are so grateful God has given us the opportunity to be part of this story!
*Names and images have been changed to ensure safety and anonymity.