Just a few days ago, as I sat on a plane from Denver to Chicago, I had the opportunity of striking up a conversation with a vibrant and wide-eyed 23 year old college student named "Dunia" (pronounced "Doon-ee-ah.") We talked for awhile about what it was like living in Denver and she shared with me about her family, background and hopes for the future.
I asked her what her name meant and she said it was Arabic for "the world" which I thought was very unique. She explained to me that her family was from Afghanistan but she had been raised in Denver. When I asked her if she followed Islam as her religion she didn't hesitate but gave me a great big fat "YES!!!" Then she went on to explain to me how the Muslim faith had been misrepresented by so many and how she loved this religion and had chosen it freely apart from her parents' persuading.
All during this time I was shooting up short prayers to God asking for him to show me how to introduce the good news of Jesus to her in a way that would make her think and consider. Knowing that Muslims have a high view of Jesus as a prophet (not the Son of God) I began to talk about him. Dunia was very open to talking about Jesus and how that she believed he would come back someday too.
Then it struck me. About 45 minutes into the conversation God gave me the answer to my prayer of how to effectively explain the gospel to this young Muslim lady. I told Dunia that I had a gift for her and she seemed intrigued. I dug into my backpack and found a Life in 6 Words book and began to write a note in the front of it. These beautiful little books explain the gospel visually and verbally. They are designed to be personalized. The first two pages of the book is blank so that the giver can write a message to the recipient.
After I finished the note I gave the book to Dunia and asked her if she would read the book. She excitedly agreed.
I'll never forget her opening the book and reading the note I had written for her. The note was something like this,
"Dear Dunia, It was a privilege to get to know you and hear about your life. As I prayed about how to share with you the message of Jesus God gave me this special verse in John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world ('Dunia') that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but has everlasting life.' My prayer is that you will know that God loves you so much that he sent his own Son to die for you and that you will receive his gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus. Sincerely, Greg Stier."
Dunia thought it was the coolest thing in the world that Jesus said that he "loved the world" in John 3:16. I could tell that it impacted her in a deep way. As we talked about the gospel of Jesus she was very honest and open about her struggles with some various aspects of the Christian faith and I tried to answer her questions the best that I could.
Please pray for Dunia. She assured me that she was open to reading both the Life in 6 Words book and the book of John (the ultimate gospel tract) when she got home. She also assured me that she was very open minded to the truth.
This entire conversation was a reminder to me that we don't have to shove the gospel down people's throats. We simply, as Paul wrote, "set forth the truth plainly." When we share the good news of Jesus with humility and love, being sensitive to the Spirit's leading, we make the deepest impact.
Speaking of impact, if you're a youth leader and would love to resource your teenagers with some free Life in 6 Words books to initiate Gospel conversations (like the one I had with Dunia) go to Share6Campaign.com and get 100 of these great little books for free and be sure to have them download the Dare 2 Share app (free as well) so they can be trained how to share the good news in a clear and compelling way.