Hamed is a refugee from a Muslim country where there has been much internal strife; he is one of a people group of less than 300,000; there are no known believers. He is living in a nearby country and has found part time work as a “language coach” for a small group of westerners who want to learn his language.
Joel is a western “worker”, living in a difficult country with his wife and three others in their small team, in the midst of language learning so they might at some point reach out to a people group with no known believers. He is in year two of the planned three year language learning phase and has struggled to acquire this strange tongue. Only recently has Joel obtained a new “language coach”, a native speaker, but who himself has very little English skill.
Hamed watches his western language learner deal with an acute complicated interpersonal and cross cultural conflict situation, “How do you do that?”, he asks. “You didn’t get upset like others do.”
Joel tries to share, with difficulty, not just in language, but in the wariness of not knowing how much of the truth to share openly in this country where such activity can have dangerous outcome.
Hamed gets a little of it. He goes home that evening, and during sleep has a vision of a man who comes to him and tells him that he needs to seek the truth from his western friend. The next morning he accosts his friend, “You have to tell me more about Him!! He came to me in my dream!! Tell me!!”
More detailed sharing is attempted, still struggling with the language barrier. But the message seems to be heard. This people group has its first believer!
The western worker nearly left the field about nine months before this interaction; medical issues and depression had impaired his ability to learn the language. He was seen by a GRC caregiver who was able to provide treatment for the problem, as well as counsel addressing the issues of depression. He is now working on task, equal to and at times ahead of the expected curve set by his agency. He and his wife hope to be located into an area populated by this people group within the next two years. He now has evidence that there are those who will hear and receive truth; he has a new brother in the faith.
(While this story is true, the names have been changed to ensure the privacy and security of the individuals.)