The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1: 43-46)
This year, Hana, 24, a North African lady won a Green Card (U.S. residency) through lottery. But she had no relatives living in America, and did not know anyone in the U.S. who could help her move out from her country of origin to America.
It was one of those divine interventions when, one day, she met, Fatima, one of her compatriots on WhatsApp. Fatima, 50; who was baptized through Salam ministries, and has been coming to Salam Christian Fellowship for three years, offered to help Hana relocate in Chicagoland.
Hana thought that Fatima was a Muslim like her, but she discovered that Fatima was going to a church called “Salam”. Hana asked: “What is Salam?” Fatima replied: “Come and see.”
Hana was confused. This preacher was talking about a Jesus different from the “Issa” she heard about in Islam. She wondered how could God have a son? What is the Holy Spirit the preacher is talking about? Islam denies the crucifixion of Jesus and says that a look-alike took his place on the cross. But that preacher was saying that he died for our sins, rose from the dead, and who ever believes in Him, and confess Him as Lord and Savior, will have eternal life.
The preacher gave Hana a copy of the New Testament in Arabic, a copy of Luther’s Small Catechism in Arabic, and told her that he would try to answer any questions she had.
Reading and studying the Gospel took two months. Fatima answered more questions asked by Hana than the preacher did.
One day, Hana was reading the Gospel alone in her room, when she said that she heard “the Voice of God; re-reading the same Gospel verses” in her ears. Hana was not asleep, she was awake, and it was broad daylight.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9
The Word of God gave Hana peace and assurance of her salvation, something she could not find in Islam.
Hana was baptized into Jesus Christ on October 19th.
“He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This is the Spirit He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” Titus 3: 5- 6
October 29, 2019