Surely God works in a thousand places in a large city like Thies, the third largest city in Senegal, Africa ― even if we usually can’t see what he is up to. He must be drawing hundreds of people to himself and giving them a hunger for his truth. We pray for these connections between God and people here daily.
But how do we find these people? How do we cross paths with them? They don’t walk around with a big “S” on their forehead, indicating they are “S”earching for truth about God.
And, how would they find us? Would wearing a red T-shirt with a big “S” on it clue them into our deep desire to tell them the truth about God?
For our part, we must consistently “live out loud.” In our interactions with Muslims, we regularly communicate that we read God’s word, pray, fast and endeavor to know and obey God’s way. We hope and pray our open and obvious desire to know the true God ― and to connect with others who want to know him ― will draw spiritually hungry people.
Our Wolof friend GC is living out loud as a hospital chaplain at a Christian hospital. As a former Muslim, he knows the many objections Muslims raise against the Bible. He has personally experienced the strong family and cultural pressures people face to remain faithful Muslims.
As he prays for patients at the hospital, GC’s eyes and ears are always open for what we call “people of peace” ―people like Cornelius, Lydia and the Samaritan woman, who are ready to hear God’s word and then take it to their family and friends.
GC prays for patients in his Wolof mother language. Since he looks like the patients and dresses in typical Wolof clothes, he finds many Muslims open to his prayers for them in the name of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah).
As is the custom here, many Muslims offer him a couple of dollars after he prays for them. This is common practice when Muslim religious leaders pray for people. Muslims are often shocked when GC refuses the money and tells them his prayer ministry is for them and God, not for financial gain. This surprising refusal of financial gain opens many doors for GC to share from the Bible and about his faith in Jesus.
Sometimes, GC prays for a patient over several days during their extended hospital stay. As a result, he gets to know family members who visit their loved one.
In God’s good time, some of these patients and guests invite GC to visit them at home. He’s now been to several Muslim families’ homes multiple times. GC always takes these opportunities to open the Bible with these men and women.
GC can pay rent, buy food and clothe his family while turning down financial gifts from Muslims because Converge International Ministries’ Metro SenWest Initiative provides him a monthly salary (about $550/month). In addition, the compensation allows him to be available to serve as a chaplain and have time to visit Muslim families he has met through his work at the Christian hospital.
GC desires his people to know the freedom, love and hope found only in Jesus. Serving as a chaplain at Hôpital Barthimée gives GC regular access to people who might be the “people of peace” God is preparing to start a gospel movement among family and friends.