*Soleh and his wife excitedly welcomed *Rio into their home. Recently, the couple had both had dreams about Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah) and were looking to learn more about Him. It wasn’t easy. After all, they lived on “Patate,” an island in a majority Muslim nation. To complicate matters further, Soleh was a renowned spiritist. People came from all over to get his help in calling up and sending out spirits and curses. He was known as a great teacher of these animistic and occultic practices. How was it that Rio should have traveled so far specifically to seek him out?
Rio explained that he had been connected with Soleh’s nephew, *Dylan, as Dylan sought truth about Isa al Masih. Dylan was uncertain but felt someone should speak with his uncle, so Rio had traveled to find him. Upon arriving on Patate, he soon learned that Soleh was a well-known and prestigious spiritist in the area. This revelation led Rio to spend the night in prayer, seeking wisdom from the Lord as to how and if to proceed. The Lord clearly led him to carry on with the plan. What a relief to find that his visit was timely and that the Lord had already opened the door for his coming!
But how to proceed? Being a spiritist was Soleh’s occupation. It was part of his identity and afforded him protection from others who would cast evil spirits and curses upon him. After careful consideration, it was decided that Soleh’s college-aged daughter should accompany Rio back to his island to study. Soleh, and his family would soon follow. This would allow them to spend concentrated time with Rio and his wife, learning what it meant to be a follower of Isa al Masih.
All this came to pass over Ramadan this year. Three times daily, the couples spent concentrated time in discipleship: worshipping, studying the Word of God, and forming essential habits of a follower of Isa. Dylan, himself a new follower of Isa, participated in the intense discipleship process. Renouncing old practices and beliefs and encountering the truth of the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit brought Soleh and his entire family to faith and baptism in Isa al Masih!
As the first fruits of their people group, Soleh and his family are now back on Patate to share with others the truth they have encountered. Dylan is at college in a dorm full of students who need Jesus. The reality is that Soleh struggles with idolizing the power he held over people through his animistic and Islamic practices. Pray that he does not now attempt to wrap his desire for power in Isa, but that he will be able to surrender to Jesus’ Lordship and embrace true humility. Pray for Rio and his wife as they continue to disciple and coach Soleh, and his family.