Although Eastern Orthodoxy is by far the majority faith in this city, it’s not uncommon at all to run into Muslims here or to see women wearing a veil on the streets. In fact, somebody once told me that there are four times the amount of Muslims in Bucharest as there are Evangelical Christians. I have no idea if that statistic is real or not.
Anyhow, last night, I had two really good experiences getting to speak with Muslims about the things of God and challenge them concerning Jesus’ claims.
Majid is from Iran. He left seven years after the Islamic Revolution, spent a few years in Sweden (where he learned the language and translated then published a book from Persian into Swedish), and then moved to Romania. I’ve been editing the newest incarnation of his book, the English translation. Besides enjoying the extra income, I’ve really appreciated my conversations with Majid. I’ve been learning a lot about life in the Middle East, especially Iran and Iraq.
I pray often for opportunities to share with Majid, and last night was a wonderful open door. We met at McDonald’s, where he paid me for my recent editing work, and then we just sat and talked for probably two hours. He considers himself to be a Muslim, but he’s not practicing, and he had a lot of questions about why I’m a pastor, what I believe, etc. I got to share my testimony with him, how Jesus freed me from a pornography addiction. It was really a great experience all around, and I’m hoping for more opportunities in the future. Pray with me for Majid!
On my way out, I saw my evangelist friend Fanel Zainea on the corner with his bullhorn. (I personally find using a bullhorn obnoxious; not only is the sound quality often so bad that it’s nearly impossible to hear, the bullhorn itself sets up a barrier between the speaker and the passersby. But if you want to preach, don’t have much money or a loud voice, and happen to be on a noisy street, then the bullhorn is certainly an option.) I stopped to encourage Fanel and thank him for his work when I discovered he was in a fairly heated discussion with someone. It turned out the man, named Bashal, was also a Muslim, a Palestinian who grew up in Kuwait and then moved to Romania to study medicine.
I ended up talking with Bashal for almost 3 hours, until just about 11 pm. He had a lot of questions about Christianity and was very confused about what we believe, but (sadly) he wasn’t very open to receiving answers. I learned a ton about Islam, though! Still, I know Bashal will one day stand before God (whether he calls him Allah, Dumnezeu, or God) and have to give an account for his life, so I often tried to steer the conversation around to eternity. I wanted to get him to realize that he, like every human being, cannot hope to receive a good judgment on that day as we have all rebelled against God not only in our actions but even in our very hearts. I wanted him to see his need for something more than just “trying harder,” his need for a Savior. But… he kept dodging the questions. So pray for Bashal as well.