From a Pioneers field worker
in North Africa
Have you ever heard the expression ‘You don’t truly understand that Jesus Christ is all you need until He is all you really have’? I have and I’m sure I’ve even prayed something along the lines of, ‘Jesus, you are all I need.’ But I’ve never been in a position where He was all I had. I met a local young man recently and for him, this statement rings true.
Mohamed, who has walked with Jesus for a little over two years now, is from a very wealthy and influential family. His home town is several hours from the city where we both now live. Previously, Mohamed lived in one of several family homes; two in the capital, one in his home town) and received a monthly allowance from his father that was four or five times the average salary for a middle class worker in our country. When Mohamed made the decision to follow Jesus, with great joy he immediately told his family. With equal swiftness he was disowned, kicked out of the family home and cut off entirely from the finances. At the same time as he lost his fine home and money, he lost nearly all of his friends, even some who were believers. Now Mohamed spends many nights on the street – either due to lack of options or as a desire not to impose on others. Two months ago he was robbed and beaten by four extremists who knew about his faith in Jesus. They took all his valuables and beat him to the point where he later required surgery due to a blood clot in his kidney. The authorities arrested the men but Mohamed asked that all of the charges be dropped. The judge was incredulous. ‘Why?’ he asked Mohamed. ‘Because I follow Jesus Christ and He has forgiven me so much more than this.’
Mohamed is currently looking for work in a very difficult employment environment and hopes one day to travel around the country sharing about faith in Jesus Christ or perhaps one day be sent to another nation to share.
When I expressed concern about his situation he replied, ‘It’s all right. I have my place in eternity with my heavenly Father. What more could I want? I have learned so much humility in this season on the streets and I know He will take care of me. I’m ok.’
I walked away from that conversation with two thoughts. First, ‘wow, I wonder if I would respond the same way in his situation. I’m stressed right now because our air condition is broken!’ Secondly, ‘What do I do with this information?’ This is my brother. How do I show care, concern and compassion? How do our differing cultures influence or not influence what I can/should/could do? I don’t want to be the foreigner who rushes in to save the day, especially not until I have more information. But neither do I want to turn a deaf ear and conjure up an excuse why it would not be ‘healthy’ or ‘appropriate’ for me to lend a hand.
Have I reached the place in my own heart where I can honestly say ‘I have Jesus, what more could I want?’
What more could I want?
From a Pioneers field worker