Husam sat behind a desk piled with important-looking paperwork.
“Why did you come to this country?” the well-dressed official asked me.
If my answer wasn’t to his liking, then there was a good chance I would walk out of Husam’s office without the thing I had come for: his official stamp and signature on the final document required to renew my resident permit.
All day I had been running from one government office to another, trying to gather everything I needed to get the permit that allowed my family and me to keep serving in the country we call home.
The week before, another field worker had gone through the same process. But his renewal had been denied.
I prayed silently. Then I said to Husam, “God opened a door for my family and me to live here, learn your language, and serve people in this community.”
THE WEEK BEFORE, ANOTHER FIELD WORKER HAD GONE THROUGH THE SAME PROCESS. BUT HIS RENEWAL HAD BEEN DENIED.
“Interesting,” Husam replied. “But why this country? Isn’t your country better and safer? Don’t you have better jobs there?”
“Maybe,” I said. “My wife and I follow Jesus. And after getting married, we prayed and asked God where we should live and work. We believe He led us to your country.”
“But isn’t that hard?” Husam asked sincerely.
“Yes, it is hard,” I answered. “Our family is in America, and we miss them very much. But our hope and peace don’t come from being in a specific place. They come from Jesus Christ. So no matter where we go, we have His hope and peace.”
Husam leaned back in his chair, seemingly in deep thought. Suddenly he sat up straight and said, “That is the best thing I’ve heard in a long time.”
Then he stood up and offered me tea—a clear sign of friendship and hospitality. We chatted for some time about life, sports, and places he said we should visit in the country. Then he stamped and signed my application.
It’s such a privilege to serve here. We’re grateful that the door remains open for us to continue sharing Jesus with Muslims like Husam.