I was more than surprised when a Muslim seatmate on an airplane asked me, “Do you know that Jesus is the Savior of the world?” This middle-aged Somalian man followed up his question with, “God is love. And Jesus is the way to know God’s love.”
I was stunned. How had this friendly, robed Muslim man come to this conclusion? He told me his story. Two of his colleagues at a hotel in Saudi Arabia, a Canadian man and a Filipino man, were Christian tentmakers who showed him Christ. This Somalian Muslim not only believed them, he tried to evangelize me! This is the power of tentmaking—a totally credible testimony from a Muslim witness.
Last week, I was delighted to talk by phone with a Muslim Turkish friend who now lives in Palo Alto, California. Our friendship began in 2004. In 2006, I helped him get a 10-year U.S. visa. Little did we know at the time that this was gift of providence for his family. With only a month remaining on the visa, in 2016 he and his family took a last tourist trip to the U.S. While they were here, there was an attempted coup d’état in Turkey. My friend got stranded here, ultimately leading to his asylum.
He and I love each other like brothers. We have raised our children together, celebrated many happy times together and helped each other in sickness, health, death of loved ones and financial difficulty. Now he is driving for Uber and has a limousine service. He told me, “Barnabas, I have some of the richest, most influential people riding in my limousine—professors from UC David, and high-level executives. I even saw Mark Zuckerberg the other day. These people pay me well.” He then turned his phone’s camera so I could see his beautiful black vehicle. He showed me the clean interior and the special perks he supplies his customers.
His next words surprised me. “Barnabas, I talk about you every day. People ask me, ‘Where are you from?’ and ‘How did you come to America?” and I tell them about my friend Barnabas, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. I also tell them about the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many don’t know Adventists, so I tell them everything. I tell them about all the love, the friendship, the help. My passengers are very curious! They say, ‘But you are a Muslim, and your friend is a Christian?’ I tell them, ‘No problem. We serve the same God. We are brothers.’ I think everyone who gets out of my car understands that God wins.”
Way to go, my Muslim tentmaker friend! Another credible testimony of Christ from a Muslim witness.