As we launched into the practical projects of our mission trip today, I found myself wondering how God might reveal Himself within the tasks of the day. I never thought that God would speak to me, so powerfully, through working alongside two Indonesian Muslim men, constructing the next stage of the building project of a Salvation Army Church!
This unlikely working relationship left both parties with a mutual intrigue: I was amazed that two devout Muslims would be assisting the Jelambar Corps to build their church and they were amazed that two Australians (Neville and myself)would be assisting them with mixing and pouring concrete. It seems we defied their expectations of Westerners by 'lowering' ourselves to do manual labour. Equally, my expectations and perceptions about Muslim people were deeply challenged by their working relationship with a Christian church; especially in a country known for persecution against Christians!! While there is still much that concerns me about the global impact of the Islamic faith, I found myself today having to separate the ideologies of a religion from the character of two people who follow that system of belief.
The personal impact of learning about the expression of faith of these two men after working a day with them is difficult to describe. Except to say, that my recent study of the prevenient work of the Holy Spirit, who has been "poured out upon ALL people" (Acts 2:17), took on flesh today. I believe that something is drawing these men of an opposing faith to work in partnership with Christians to build their church. This encounter has left me with much to think and pray about.