Agali gave Disciple Making Movements training to a group of pastors in 2015. From those who took the DMM training, a pastor named Roba came to him and expressed serious doubts that existing churches could make this kind of change. Agali did not argue but challenged Roba to start the process in his community. Roba took the challenge and went to his community in search of a person of peace. The community was predominantly a Muslim community where the men like to gather in the public square in the afternoons to drink tea and to socialize.
Roba went to the public square one afternoon. He greeted the men and offered to buy them tea telling them he had come to get to know them. He told them although he is a Christian and they are Muslims, they have been neighbors for a long time and as people who honor God maybe they should know each other better. The Muslims invited Roba to sit with them. As they were chatting together, Roba got an opportunity to tell them a story from the Bible. He told them the story of Zacchaeus. The men were attentively listening to the story and when he reached the part of the story when Jesus said
“Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a son of Abraham,”
his listeners became more attentive when the name of Abraham was mentioned. After finishing drinking tea, and as they were parting they invited the pastor to come again with more stories.
A few days later, Roba joined them again for tea. After the usual greetings and talking about current happenings in the community, Roba asked them if they remembered the story he had told them in his first visit. They told him they did. He asked them to repeat the story for him, which they did. After repeating the story, a lively discussion followed. One of them asked Roba if he believes that Jesus is God. Roba threw the question back to the men and asked them,
“if Jesus in the story of Zacchaeus was able to give salvation to men, does this not show that Jesus could have divine attributes that are not found in men?”
Some of the men responded in agreement by nodding their heads.
These meetings over tea became frequent and regular. In a natural progression of the relationships, many Discovery Bible Groups and churches were established among these Muslims, resulting in 32 small churches.
Dr. Aila Tasse is founder and director of Lifeway Ministries, who seek to catalyze movements of disciple-makers in over 10 countries in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. Names have been changed for security purposes. This story is adapted from Mission Frontiers (link below).
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