Doing dangerous drugs with her boyfriend by night and earning a decent wage by day, Sarah* dismissed her friend’s talk of eternal life in Christ – until their paths crossed again in a country that seemed like another planet.
In their native Philippines, Sarah worked as an agent for a call center while her live-in boyfriend had a good job in a bank, and they were too busy climbing the economic ladder in their urban metropolis to pay much attention to ancient things. Her Christian friend, a young man in training to share the Gospel at a ministry based in the Philippines, couldn’t get her to pay attention to the salvation message.
The parents of Sarah and those of her boyfriend, Mario, eventually badgered them into getting married, and they had the appearance of middle-class respectability as they hid their growing addiction to illegal substances, according to the leader of a native ministry. But the government’s war on drugs began to hurt dealers they knew, and in a panic the couple took the route that economically deprived Filipinos have long taken – fleeing to the Middle East to take humble service jobs that at least kept them alive.
Keeping their plans confidential, Sarah left the Philippines without saying goodbye to her Christian friend.
In the Middle Eastern country, undisclosed for security reasons, Sarah and Mario couldn’t buy a bottle of wine in the Islamic republic, much less find illicit drugs. Going cold turkey and tripping through a new culture exhausted them as much as working long hours for little money in an expensive land. Displaced, disoriented and depressed, they found solace only in the Filipino subculture.
It was to that subculture that the native ministry in the Philippines sent her Christian friend as part of its international outreach. Sarah was amazed to run into him at a market specializing in Filipino foods. Warmed to find a piece of her previous life in this strange new existence, she also warmed to the Gospel; what was once an ancient thing was now local and in the moment.
“Sarah was very receptive and accepted Christ into her life,” the ministry leader said. “She also shared the Gospel with her husband who, though at first hesitant, also accepted Jesus into his life. The Holy Spirit started to work in their lives – they began to hunger for God’s words.”
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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission