This is what effective cross-cultural evangelism looks like to us:
Alfonzo received a phone call from Bert asking advice for a short-term outreach team coming into the country. “What can this team do to reach Muslim people effectively in our area?”
As they talked, a thought occurred to Alfonzo. “We hear a lot about Muslim people having dreams and visions which help open their hearts and minds to the Gospel. Some say about 70% of Arabs who have come to faith, had previously experienced a dream or vision. How can we find people in our area who are already prepared in this way? Let’s think about it.”
Together Bert and Alfonzo came up with the idea of doing a survey using this list of questions:
- Do you believe Allah can speak to us?
- Do you believe Allah can speak through dreams and visions?
- Have you had a dream or vision from Allah? If so, tell me about it.
- Would you like to learn more?
Bert provided cultural orientation for the outreach team and equipped them with the survey. They went to the streets. Of the first 30 people they spoke with, 10 of them said yes! When asked about what they saw, they described a Person in a white robe with His face brightly shinning. Next, an outreach team member would read from Revelation chapter one:
“He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across His chest. His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like flames of fire.”
Their response: “Yes! That is what I saw! What book is that?” They were told this passage is in the Injil (Arabic word for New Testament, recognized as one of the Islamic Holy Books).
“Would you like to learn more?” Most said yes. In total, the team found 30 people who had dreams or visions and 14 joined Discovery Bible Studies (DBS). The local, long-term workers establish DBSs which meet in homes, coffee shops, parks, etc. These small, interactive groups start with Genesis and eventually cover God’s Story from Creation to Christ.
After Bert told Alfonzo the exciting news, Alfonzo gathered his own team and organized a similar survey. Of the first 12 people they surveyed, all 12 had dreams or visions. Of those 12, 8 said yes to DBS.
God has already prepared this harvest field, all that was needed was laborers to go. And in this case, there was a great partnership between short-term and long-term workers.
This is what effective cross-cultural evangelism looks like to us!