Story Shorts – June 22

MENA Stories November 21, 2022

The Rest of the Story

A recent Communique’ told of a Creation Health discussion in a closed country where one young man challenged the idea of forgiveness. “When you’ve been offended, revenge is the only answer,” he argued. To respond, the facilitator led the class through several real-life stories before the group finally agreed forgiveness is always the better way. The facilitator shares the sequel to that experience:

At our next session, the young man told how he and his father hadn’t talked for two years, ever since his father had severely wronged him. But after our class discussion on forgiveness, he said he decided to take the first step to see if he could find healing.  He called and told his father that he wanted to forgive him.  To his surprise, his father responded with an open heart; their relationship has been restored. “I feel much in peace,” he told us.  

The same young man had also challenged a classmate who referred to an article that claimed good nutrition helps you live longer.  He had been adamant, “What you read is not true. Your destiny is written and you will die when you have to.”  Not until our seminar graduation did the young man admit he’s been practicing the health principles faithfully.  He agreed they worked!  In the three months of the program, he has lost 6 kg,  He feels better and has more energy; his life has changed.  Along with the weight he’s lost, he’s also lost the burden of revenge and gained a new relationship with his father.   –A Creation Health facilitator                            

Conversations
I was honored to be invited to teach my mother tongue at a well-respected majority-faith university. I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to relate to nearly 60 non-Christian young people on a regular basis. Along with teaching a foreign language, I chose to be transparent about my own culture and beliefs as well. One student, clearly curious, approached me after class one day, with some cautious questions. It allowed me to talk openly about my faith, specifically about the person of Jesus Christ, salvation, and victory over sin.  At the end of  two unforgettable hours of conversation, the student expressed amazement at what he had learned and admitted, “I have never been given such truths!”  Please pray for him; I know God is working.   –A frontline worker

Blessings Returned
The speaker for Middle East University’s Week of Spiritual Emphasis had just closed the week with an appeal to the students to study the Bible and let God speak to them personally. Allana (not her real name), a community student at MEU, took the invitation seriously; at the end of the service she planted herself in front of the speaker and declared, “I’m ready to study the Bible.”

Two staff members made a plan together with her to study twice a week, one in English and one in Arabic. Although Allana had grown up a Christian, she had never prayed except for what she had read for mass. Her heart was open to spiritual things, though. As they studied the gospels, Allana learned quickly that Jesus is her Friend and prayer is a conversation with Him. The studies progressed with the predictable breaks for holidays and a frenetic spring schedule. But fast forward to the week of final exams for this school year when Allana stopped by to visit one of her “Bible teachers.”

“It had been a hard day for me,” the staff member remembers, her eyes filling with tears of personal grief. “I was so grateful for Allana’s visit even when I knew she needed to be studying.  But my comfort was so very great when this young girl–who didn’t know how to pray last fall–looked me in the eye so thoughtfully and said, ‘Could I pray with you?’”   –An MEU Staff Member