Some fish and a closet

The White Harvest was blessed by the donation of a slightly used IKEA closet recently, and we decided to take it to Abu Muhammed’s family as a gift.

We took the closet apart and managed to barely fit it inside Bishara’s van before driving to the village. Bishara drove slowly so as to not upset the carefully stacked boards.

When we arrived, it became very clear that Abu Muhammed was not expecting us. He and his older sons were covered in cement, dust, and sweat as they were in the process of installing some new doors they had bought for their house.

Though we had arrived at a bad time, Abu Muhammed urged us to sit down in the living room. Bishara explained to them that we came with a closet as a gift, and that he also had brought a Bible story to tell them. However, he repeatedly reassured them that if they were busy, we could leave and come back next week.

The mother and father asked us to stay and tell the story, so Bishara began looking on his computer for the power-point presentation he had planned to use. No matter how hard he looked, he could not find the file.

The smaller children were being loud and rambunctious, and Abu Muhammed clearly wanted to get back to working on the house, so we decided to wait until next time to tell the story. In retrospect, it appears it was God’s plan for the file to be missing from the computer, so that we did not offend the family with a long visit while they were busy.

We proceeded to unload the closet piece by piece, and when we finished Abu Muhammed asked us to drive him to a nearby store.

As we drove, Bishara repeatedly told him “You are not going to buy something for us, right? I will be upset with you if you buy us something.”

Abu Muhammed denied having any intention of buying us anything.

When we arrived at the center of the city, Abu Muhammed ducked into a fish dealer’s store, then emerged a few minutes later with two black bags full of fresh fish and a big grin on his face. As he opened the back of the van to put the bags of fish inside, he said “This one is for you, Bishara, and this one is for J*.” He didn’t even buy any fish for himself!

Of course, we immediately thanked him profusely for the gift. On the five minute drive back to the house, Bishara again explained to Abu Muhammed the purpose of our weekly visits to his family. He told him that we want him and his family to know and love Jesus more and more each week.

Certainly, the visit did not go as we had planned, and we were not able to share a story this time. But it is our hope that Abu Muhammed’s family can feel the love we have for them and that they will realize this love does not come from us but from God Himself. We trust that God’s planning and timing is better than ours.

*name withheld to protect identities of those involved

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