On our trip back to Kampala, from our training in Rukungiri (western Uganda), we stopped for lunch. While the other guys ordered at the take away counter, I wandered over to the side of the roadside stop where there were tables and a buffet offered. A young Ugandan named Mohammed (not pictured to protect his anonymity), working for the buffet approached me.
I greeted him with, “How are you?”
He replied, “Fine.”
I asked, “Are you sure?”
I couldn’t make out his reply (Ugandans speak very softly) but felt the Holy Spirit drawing me to ask him, “Do you know Jesus? Are you born again?”
He answered, “I am a Muslim.”
I asked, “Do you know the Prophet Jesus?
He said, “Mohammed was a prophet.”
“Isa (the Muslim name ‘Jesus’) was a prophet and a Savior,” I answered. “He is the only way to heaven. He is the only One who ever died and rose to life again.”
I then asked, “Have you read the Koran? I have and It speaks of Jesus as a prophet.“
He replied, “I have not.” (Most Muslims are cultural Muslims, having been born in Muslim families, but not very knowledgeable about Islam.)
I next said, “Many Muslims have dreams in which Jesus appears to them and tells them to follow him.”
Sensing an open heart to what I was sharing, I next said to Mohammed, “I would like to introduce you to my Ugandan friends. They are waiting for their food near by.”
One of the men we are training, Jedidiah, took over the conversation and switched to the Lugandan language (main Ugandan tribal language).
I stood next to Jedidiah and Mohammed and listened to the conversation that followed. I didn’t understand but prayed for Mohammed and ‘Jedi.” Jedidiah took Mohammed’s hand (a Ugandan gesture of friendship), and said to Mohammed (He explained to me later what he said in Lugandan), “If you want to get to a certain destination you have to take the right road. I know that you want to go to heaven but the only road leading there is Jesus.”
Jedidiah went on to explain, “In the Old Testament, when you committed a sin, you had to atone for it by offering an animal sacrifice. John the Baptist (also viewed as a prophet in the Qur’an) pointed to Jesus and called him the ‘Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the earth.’ He was God’s sacrifice for our sins so that we can go to heaven.”
Jedidiah added further, “To get to heaven and have your sins forgiven, you must receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord He is the only road leading there. It is like a check that you take to the bank that you will one-day cash, when you come to the end of this life. When you receive ‘Isa’ as Savior and Lord, you are given a check and are on the road to heaven. Isa is the only payment that God will accept to pay the debt of our sins. When you receive Isa, He will be with you, guide you, and strengthen you, as you are on that road. One day you will cash the check he gives you to enter heaven.”
Over and over again, Muhammed made a little Ugandan sound of agreement. He was understanding Jedi’s message. He was getting it.
Jedidiah then led Mohammed in “the sinner’s prayer.” He prayed out loud and Mohammed followed line by line, confessing Isa as the Lamb of God, Savior, and Risen Lord.
After more conversation, and getting Mohammed’s contact information to pass on to one of the nearby churches we are networking with, we bid Mohammed farewell. As we drove off Jedidiah said, “There’s a party going on in heaven!”
I replied, “There’s a party going on in my heart!”
Pray for Mohammed and for those who will follow him up. Pray for all those we have talked with about Jesus during our trip…and for those who we are training to do the same.
Because of our gracious Savior,
Linus (and Sharon back home)