A few months ago, I stumbled upon Samy Tanagho. Do you know anything about him? I know very little, but I listened to his two cds on how to minister to muslims.
In my college, where I work, we have two young muslim men (computer programers from India), whom I usually talk to. A few months ago, my fiancee and I invited them over for dinner. They accepted and we had a great dinner and started talking about our faiths. Using the advice of Samy, I witnessed, as they inquired, rather than trying to preach to them.
Eventually, two other people showed up at my apartment; one was a self proclaimed 'bad christian' and the other was a guy who is 'searching' for truth (both English teachers.. one American and one Canadian). We all sat in my livingroom and discussed several topics in a civilized manner.
By the end, everyone was pleased with what happened and they all wanted to do it again sometime (actually, this is even after I pulled a few Bibles out and we read some scriptures!).
I gave my Bible to the 'searching guy' and copies of Samy's cds to the Muslims. Since then, they have suggested that they want to talk soon, after their vacation.
I do not know if this was the right way to minister, but my fiancee and I felt it went as well as it could have. We prayed that a seed could have been planted in anyone of their hearts.
A couple weeks ago, the 'searching guy' called me and wanted my fiancee and I to take him to the English speaking church we attend sometimes on Sunday nights. We took him and he has since gone alone...praise God.
Then last week, the 'bad christian', who I must admit knows a lot more than I do about the Bible, called me and asked me to show him the same church. My fiancee and I led him and his 'friend' in my car, as they followed. We then walked them to the elevator and went on our way.
The other day, he said that it was good for him and the girl he went with and that he would go again. Yesterday, he called me again to ask some questions about it, so I think he is trying to change his ways.
Oh yeah...I almost forgot!!! I live in an apartment building on the 13 floor. My neighbor is British and I knew she had a boyfriend, but last week, I was leaving at 4:35am for morning church, when I walked out my door and this guy had his head sticking out around the door.
It was a little shocking to me, because I never saw him before. I thought that maybe my neighbor 'picked-up' the night before and he was trying to 'escape' (I've done that a few times :-( ). I walked to the elevator, but he followed me and asked me if I knew where the hospital was. Still a little shocked and hard hearted, I was not too forth coming with information. I told him he could get a taxi around the corner.
As we went down the elevator, he told me that he felt really sick and that he needs a doctor. I thought he was just drunk or on some drugs. But then my heart started to warm up and I decided to offer him a drive. He gratefuly accepted. I called my fiancee and told her that I would be late for morning church, and I might not be there at all if it took too long.
I quickly found out that he was an 19 year old muslim from Morocco that was appearently teaching English. We went to the hospital and they were actually rude, but it turned out that he was already there for the same problem. The thing was, that he got kicked in the head 9 months prior and has been having head and blood circulation problems ever since (obviously :-? ). His friend and him were fighting over a girl...
Through out this time, my focus was on Jesus. I would tell him and he would ask me many things. The hospital pointed us to another one downtown, so I told him that I would take him. He continued to ask questions about Christianity. By the end of our meeting, I spent four hours with him at the hospital, because he had no friends or family.
Eventually, I had to go and I gave him my morning church notebook which had a lot of the teachings I was learning over the past few months. He was very grateful and interested in the way I was treating him. Later that day, I phoned him to see if he was still 'alive' and he said that he was much better, but there is still a problem that they cannot solve.
I told him to research everything that I have said and I pray that he finds what he was looking for.
I realize now that the best way to minister is to be truthful and honest with your experiences and allow your heart do the work, rather than your brain. He was nothing more than a lost and misguided 19 year boy who grabbed onto Islam because there is teaching. The teaching may not be proper, but like him and many other people whom have no good parental role models, anything is better than nothing.
God Bless our hearts to be warm for you,