A Story From Eurasia

Translator Humble (pseudonym) meets regularly with a local shopkeeper who grew up as a Muslim, but after reading translated Scripture, embraced the truth of Jesus’s sacrificial death. The shopkeeper has become quite vocal, often starting spiritual conversations with his customers. He and Humble have discussions with others listening in about various topics, including the validity of the Gospels and New Testament epistles and how they have not been distorted (a prevalent Muslim teaching).  

When the shopkeeper read the story of the widow giving away all she had, he decided to start giving generously and in secret to widows and orphans. He also forgave store debts to those he believed were in dire circumstances. This was a big change from his usual habits, where he made a big deal about giving donations to an extremist seminary. He says the Lord has blessed his business even more now that he’s quietly giving to the truly needy. But the seminary started suffering without his donations. 

Recently, a cleric from the seminary took action against the shopkeeper in retaliation for his “drifting away from Islam.” During a government crackdown on a banned militant organization, the cleric told the authorities that the shopkeeper was a major supporter of the militants. “Behind this man are a thousand others,” he declared. All the details the cleric provided were fabrications. 

The shopkeeper was arrested and spent seven nights in jail. This time was agonizing for him, his family, and the translator as they didn’t know how the situation would turn out. But the morning of the shopkeeper’s release, he had spent time praying and sensed that the Lord would open doors for him to go home. 

The translator says he can’t wait to discuss the story of Peter’s imprisonment with the shopkeeper. And now that the shopkeeper has not only entrusted his life to Jesus, but has also suffered on Christ’s behalf, Humble plans to take him through the “Commands of Jesus” study. He believes the shopkeeper is ready to confess his faith through baptism. 

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