When I got to Cape Town, South Africa, I was immediately amazed by the beauty of the city and encouraged to watch what God would do. On Saturday, after spending a day getting to know and minister to the students at the University of Capetown, my teammate Zach and I met a man named Marthias who walked up to us and introduced himself. Marthias was from Uganda and after some small talk, he shared his dream to become a lawyer with us and help restore the Ugandan government. Blown away by his passions and encouraged by his character, Zach and I shared the Gospel with Marthias and he gave his life to Jesus! It was absolutely the hand of God that we met him because we met Marthias two days before he was moving to Uganda after being in Cape Town for four years.
Marthias decided to spend the night with us to learn more about Jesus and we stayed up late that night with him, telling him about who Jesus is and teaching him about the Bible. Marthias was intrigued by the Bible after our conversation and wanted his own. Luna, another man on our team, gave Marthias a study Bible to take back to Uganda with him. Marthias was amazed by the kindness of God and decided to come to Antioch Capetown with us the next morning before his flight to Uganda. This was the first time he had ever been to a church service and it marked him. He also got connected to many people on our short term team and actually emailed and thankful a few of us the next day from Uganda. After church Marthias left us, encouraged and ready to impact his home country for Jesus’ name.
The next day I got a message from a man named Bob who was friends with Marthias. Bob noticed a change in Marthias and wanted to hear about the reason for this change, so he asked if we could meet and talk with him. I went with another teammate to meet with him and we shared the Gospel with Bob. He too gave his life to Jesus!
The power of the Gospel and God’s divine intervention if powerful.
One day one of our team members was trying to take pictures of all the different kinds of money she had and this fully covered Muslim woman started laughing at us because we looked ridiculous with all that money on the ground. She noticed there was a bill from Brazil, so she asked us about it and I started taking with her.
I told her my name and she talked a bit about herself. She was a Muslim from Saudi Arabia. She asked my name and I told her it was Talita, which is Arabic for “little girl,” and is from the story of when Jesus raises a little girl from the dead in Luke. I grabbed my Bible and read her the story. She’d never seen or read a Bible before. I shared with her that the same way Jesus raised that girl from the dead, he’s raised me from spiritual death. I shared my testimony with her, and talked about the kindness of God as a father, how He calls me His little girl and the life and redemption I have now. While I was talking she started crying, and at one point she asked if she could hug me because what I was talking about was touching her heart. I reshared the Gospel with her and she was blown away.
She told me she came into the city where we were once to twice a year and every time she’d come, she would plant herself at a coffee shop in hopes of someone talking to her because she was away from family and desperately wanted relationships with people. This is my personal passion so I got to share my heart about how I want to grow and develop coffee shops and farms for relational building and community development. She was shocked by why I wanted to love people that way, so I got to go back into the Bible with her and share another story of how Jesus calls us to love people. Before I left, I prayed for her and we exchanged contact information. I’ve gotten to talk to her several times about the Bible since.
Her name translated into English means faith. I’m praying for her faith to know Jesus and respond to the Gospel.
One night some of my team and I were walking through the Souq (Arabic for Market) and we wanted to stop at a spice shop. We went into one randomly and it was bustling with people. We met the two brothers who ran the shop and were from Iran. There was also a worker there from Afghanistan. We got to talking and tried some of the nuts. While deciding what nuts to purchase, one of the girls I was with asked if they were Muslim. The brother, Sam, mentioned that he is but thinks that Islam is causing a lot of the problems in the world today. Seeing an open door, she gave him a Hope Booklet which is full of encouraging Bible verses about the character of God and who Jesus really is. We left and thought the story was over. A week and a half later, I thought I would go back and visit my friends at the spice shop. I went and greeted Sam and asked if had read the book. He told me that he had not but that his brother had it. I then noticed that his brother wasn’t there. After asking where he was, Sam told me that he had gone back to Iran and had the Hope booklet with him. A seed we planted had just been taken to a nation that is just as desperate for the Gospel!
Dubai is home to people from every nation and thousands of people groups. It is a literal miracle waiting to happen! What the world thought was just for business and the biggest, best new thing, God is going to use to touch the four corners of the earth. A personal highlight for me was getting to meet people from some of the most closed countries in the world and getting to know their people group solely because God had spoken to me in a prayer time three years ago. I was able to pray for several people from this people group, make them feel known and loved, and realize that God is using the city of Dubai to reach the most unreached. Our team met and blessed people from all over the world!