Don’t forget the guitar!

This was our third visit with this particular family in the village. We had promised to come Monday evening. During our previous visit, we had noticed that they had no tables and very few chairs, so we had also promised to bring some furniture for them.

When Monday came, both two of us were feeling sick (a nasty cold/flu/virus is currently going around), but we didn’t want to let the family down. We took some medicine, piled into the van, and headed for the village.

Unfortunately, we got a late start due to traffic. After driving for a while, we suddenly remembered that we had promised to bring the guitar and teach the family some songs. I had totally forgotten. We considered turning back to get the guitar, but since we were already late, we decided we could not afford to waste any more time.

When we arrived, one of the sons saw us driving up the road, and he told us to come and visit with them. It was clear that they were all waiting for us, expectantly. The dad told us that he had not eaten anything all day, possibly because of how excited (or nervous?) he had been that we were coming.

They had put two couches in the main room, and we had bought four chairs for them, so there were plenty of seats. Many of the children stayed to listen to what Bishara had to say.

The children asked him to read a story from one of the books he brought. He began with a story about how God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his son. This helped later, when Bishara talked about how Jesus took our punishment on the cross, as a sacrifice. The two stories fit together quite logically: God’s demand for the sacrifice of a son, and then God’s provision of his own Son as the ultimate sacrifice.

One of the neighbor’s teenage daughters came to listen to the stories, and she had several insightful questions; she didn’t just blindly accept everything Bishara said. For instance, as Bishara was talking about how God changes our lives and answers our prayers, she asked “How long does it take?”

Though they are Muslim, none of them are very familiar with the Qu’ran, so most of their questions are based on logic or arguments they have overheard in the past.

Bishara explained that God provided the gift of salvation and forgiveness through the cross, and we must take the gift. It does us no good if we do not accept the gift. He also explained that only Jesus could be the sacrifice because the rest of us are sinners (debtors). A debtor can’t pay someone else’s debt. But Jesus can pay our debt because he didn’t have any sin or debt of his own.

Bishara prayed out loud and asked those who wanted to, to repeat after him. He also prayed for Jesus to heal the husband’s eyes. It looks like he has a virus of some sort that makes his eyes water very badly at times.

In the end we promised to come back next week, but to not forget the guitar. Bishara told everyone in the room to turn to me and say, “Don’t forget the guitar!”

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