At a recent free lunch here at the University of Houston Baptist Student Ministry, I talked to a student I have been developing a friendship with over the past year. He was born into a Muslim family, but they do not follow traditional Islamic values.
Our most recent conversation was memorable because I saw my friend’s desire for truth in a burdensome situation. He explained his desire to take care of his family, but he voiced concerns toward others in his family not doing what it took to make his family thrive. The longer he talked, the more stressed he became. He consoled himself by saying, “But that’s life right now, and I’ve got to just live with it and be positive.”
While this is not necessarily wrong, it’s definitely incomplete. I became angry at the lies he believed about who he is and his place in the world. So, I explained what the Bible says about our responsibility to others and ourselves. He sat back and listened as I provided testimonies and examples in the Bible about what family looks like.
“Wow! So, what do you think I should do?” he asked.
This took me by surprise. He is normally long-winded and opinionated about the world. I said comically to myself, “Well, I never thought I’d get to a place where someone believed what I said and asked for next steps.”
I told him I hesitated to give him specific action advice, because I wanted him to make up his own mind. But I urged him to do some introspection and talk to his parents about his thoughts.
I saw where there was slavery due to lies and became angry. So, out of love and words from the Holy Spirit, I presented truth. This showed me that even those who are not familiar with God recognize their own slavery, and if they want their burden lifted, they will respond to truth. I will continue to pray for my friend and his family, eagerly awaiting his entrance into God’s kingdom and freedom.
Angel Rivera, a graduate of Houston Baptist University, is serving with Go Now Missions as a campus missionary at the University of Houston