A former TIMO team member serving in Chad shares what is it like to live there and share the gospel with those around her.
I was squished in the back corner of the full taxi van on our way to the capital of Chad. With plenty of time and a captive audience, I pulled out one of the little storybooks that I always had with me. I began to read the story of creation slowly out loud in Arabic and turned through the pages. The Muslim man sitting next to me began to peer over my shoulder so he could see the little pictures. The majority of the people in the van were also leaning my direction to hear what I was reading, as we travelled the bumpy road. Two rows up was an imam, a Muslim religious leader, and I wasn’t sure what he would think about the Bible story, but I kept reading in obedience to the Spirit’s prompting. When I finished, the imam spoke over his shoulder in my direction, “Oh it is good to hear the stories of our prophets.” I sat relieved and thankful that Chad was still relatively open to us coming and teaching the Word of God.
As a TIMO team we met weekly to pray and learn together. We shared what conversations the Lord had opened up that week and kept each other accountable to being intentional and bold with our everyday conversations. We read Any 3 by Mike Shipman, and agreed that we would boldly share the good news of Jesus in some way with anyone, anywhere, at anytime. As was the author’s experience, if we didn’t share the gospel, people didn’t generally come to Christ! The best way to communicate the gospel is through people’s heart language, so we prioritised learning Chadian Arabic. We memorised Scripture and practised praying in Chadian Arabic.
We prayed with our neighbours, but we also frequently and fervently prayed for our neighbours. We knew it was by the grace of God that hearts were softened and had the faith to believe.
One of our friends dreamt that Jesus appeared and told her to follow his testimony. When she asked him what that was, he told her there would be someone who would come and sit on her mat to tell her. There I was sitting on her mat ready to tell her the testimony of Jesus. Without having a lot of language, I was able to share Romans 10:9-12 as we had memorised it as a team. I was thankful God allowed me to participate.
During our two years, we were blessed to see some of the first Muslims from our village come to Christ. One of the guys had laughed and told us, “A Muslim becoming a Christian? Impossible! To be Arab is to be Muslim.” But after debating, engaging, and reading through the Scriptures, he came to faith, was baptised, and now faithfully shares his new faith with others.