Source: Wazala, a ministry of SAT-7, August 6, 2013
In his moving account of years serving as a chaplain in the port of Aden, Yemen: Heartbreak and Hope, Peter Crooks recalls a series of conversations that reveal God’s undercover Spirit at work in members of this strongly Islamic society.
“Omar [leaned] forward in the chair opposite me. His hands were loosely clasped and he had a scarf wrapped around his head. He had at least two days of stubble on his chin. He spoke very slowly and deliberately in English, and his dark eyes were fixed intently on my own. ‘Will you baptize us?’ he asked searchingly.
“I had had a hunch that this was where the conversation with he and his friend Mustafa was headed. I hesitated briefly and replied cautiously that to do so might prove a dangerous and costly step for us all. ‘We have read the Bible,’ he responded. ‘We have studied the words of Jesus. He talked about the cross. We are ready to take up the cross. Do not stop us.’”
“I thought about that meeting with the two men and their burning question when, a week later, we were invited to attend a reception on a French naval warship … an unlikely but congenial setting for the lively conversation that unexpectedly opened up on board between myself and senior members of Aden’s security and police services, who had also been invited to the reception, about Yemeni Christians.
“‘Are there many Yemeni Christians?’ came the first question.
“‘Yes,’ I replied. No one asked me how many, and I would have been hard pressed to give a figure if I had been asked to. If I had been, I would have ventured several hundred at least, and it could well be several thousand.
“‘Where are they?’ asked another officer.
“‘Everywhere,’ I said.”
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