Thursday, May 31, 2007

Call to Prayer

From where I'm sitting and working, I can hear the nearby mosque's call to prayer. I've heard it several times today. Soon, it might be a reality in my neighborhood in Ilula, too. I'm told that a mosque will soon be built less than 3 km from our base. Kenya has a growing Muslim population, and I pass through a predominantly Muslim community en route to Kipkaren every week. I've been reading much about Islam, trying to understand what they believe and how we can reach the Muslim women in these communities. (Cross-gender evangelism is totally offensive to them.)

I want to know what my neighbors believe, not because I want to attack them, but so that I can love them and have conversations with them. I would love to introduce them to Jesus! But that would be a process that I'd want God to truly show me step by step how to approach.

Even tonight, at dinner, I sensed God reminding me how ignorance creates chasms. It might be fear of the unknown. Or it could be pride. It's ignorance, nevertheless. Case in point: At lunch, I noticed how one family was sitting by themselves. No-one joined their table. The girls all wore dresses. The wife wore a head covering. The young husband looked very serious. I wondered who they were, what they believed.

At dinner, I passed by the table with my new neighbor-friends (the ones who live "just up the road") and asked the other family if I could join them. They were incredibly polite and well-mannered. And they were friendly, though somewhat quiet. In fact, I had a delightful time visiting with them and learning about what they do in Meru. Yes, they dress differently. They even talk funny, but that's simply because they're from Arkansas. They're Mennonites, and if the opportunity arises, I'll ask them more about the specifics of their faith.

As a result of visiting with them and reading up about their faith, I no longer have to shy away from talking with them.

I pray the same will be true of my Muslim neighbors, that I'll get to befriend some ladies in our area and break bread with them...

1 comment:

  1. A lesson we should all learn.

    I think you are correct that fear causes chasms. And not just with strangers.

    I'm totally enjoying reading your blog~