We didn’t expect much from Zacharia when he suddenly showed up for training. He had heard we were equipping national believers to reach Muslims with the Gospel. So, he hopped on his bicycle and pedaled two hours to join one of our training groups that met every other week.
Zacharia listened attentively during the entire meeting—but he didn’t actively participate. At the end of the day, I offered him various resources and an audio file of the passage about loving one’s enemies from Luke 6. “You can put this on your phone and share it with Muslims,” I said.
“I don’t have a mobile phone,” Zacharia replied. “I can’t afford one.” I offered him a printed copy of the passage, suggesting he could read it with his Muslim friends.
“This teaching of Jesus is great. Where did you get it? Can you get me more?”
“I can’t read,” he said. Nevertheless, he took a copy. I watched him pedal away on his two-hour ride back to his village and wondered what he would do with the training he had received in that first meeting.
Two weeks later at our next training session, we had the trainees discuss what had happened since we had last met. “What did you learn from your experiences of sharing?” we asked. “What went well? What might you do differently next time?”
We were nearing the end of the meeting, and Zacharia had yet to speak. Hesitantly, I asked him, “With whom did you share the passage?”
His response caught our collective attention: “I shared it with 150 people.”
“How many?” I asked, thinking I had misheard him.
He smiled confidently and explained, “I went to a photocopy stand and used the money I had to make 150 copies.” It had probably cost $5—a large expense for someone who couldn’t even afford a basic phone.
“Our religious leaders have never given us anything like this. We can understand it!”
“My village holds a market once a week,” Zacharia continued, “so I took the copies and stood at the market’s main intersection point. I gave a copy to each Muslim who passed by until I had given them all away.”
“How did people respond?” I asked.
“They all really appreciated it, especially since the passage was in our own language,” he said. “Several people came back to me and said things like, ‘This teaching of Jesus is great. Where did you get it? Can you get me more of these teachings?’ Others commented, ‘Our religious leaders have never given us anything like this. They read the Qur’an to us in Arabic, which we can’t understand. But I can understand this passage. Thank you for sharing it with me.’”
In faithful obedience to God, Zacharia had stood on a hot, dusty street handing out Scripture passages he couldn’t even read—all so that his Muslim neighbors could have a first chance at discovering Jesus.
I am humbled and encouraged by Zacharia’s faithful steps to share the Gospel!
This account comes from a long-term worker. Names and places have been changed for security.