Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called… Rom. 8:30
The lady seated in front of me picked up her ringing phone and spoke into it.
“Asalaam aleykum!” she said.
At the other end of the line I heard another female voice faintly echoing the same greeting.
The lady seated with me was one of our church members and I was intrigued to know whom she was addressing in the standard Islamic greeting.
After a few minutes of conversing, I was surprised to see her handing the phone to me.
“It’s Mama Zulfa, she wants to greet you”, she said.
“Oh”, I said in astonishment. Mama Zulfa was a secret disciple in one of our churches. She was married to an Arab Muslim. We rarely talked, even on phone. But it was I, rather than her, who feared the most. She was an intrepid soul, and she came from a family of equally fearless people. Her sister had also converted, even though she was also married to a Muslim. And both her two children were also believers, albeit secret ones.
But the journey leading to this state of affairs had began a long time ago. It had began with the call of God upon a little girl’s heart. A long time ago, when she was just a little girl, Mama Zulfa’s family lived across the street from a pastor’s house. It so happened that this pastor, his wife and two daughters would always come out onto the verandah of their house at a particular time of the day and loudly sing Christian hymns.
The girl was entranced by this spectacle. But it was the songs that captivated her most. A deep longing grabbed at her heart whenever she heard the pastor and his wife singing the Christian songs. It reached a point where, whenever they came out to sing, she would be there, waiting. She recalls that her worst nightmare was when any member of her family would call out to her at such a moment! At those times she was lost in a different world altogether.
Because her family was Muslim and the pastor’s Christian, the two families did not interact in any way. But one day, she was all alone at home when the pastor’s family came out to sing. As they were winding up and preparing to go back inside, she could bear it no more. Without thinking, she burst out from the house, dashed across the street and hurled herself into the pastor’s wife’s arms.
“Please don’t leave me!” The cry came from the depths of her heart. “I am one of you!”
Shocked and unable to comprehend what was happening, the pastor’s wife quickly opened the door and let the distraught girl in. And there, inside the pastor’s house, the young girl heard the gospel and hurriedly gave her life to Christ.
But that was as far as the honeymoon would go. She was never to step inside that house again for, soon afterwards, the pastor and his family left the neighborhood and moved elsewhere.
Time moved on and it came time for the girl to get married, and she got married in the traditional Muslim fashion. But the call of God never left her heart. A Hand stronger than any force held her firm in her faith. But she would not dishonor her husband by joining any church. But one day she crossed paths with one of our pastors and that was how I would find myself talking on the phone to this incredible woman of faith.
By the time Mama Zulfa joined us, she had secretly preached the gospel to nearly half her family members! After she joined with us, she preached the gospel to her sister-in-law (the one seated in front of me), who also gave her life to Christ.
Now we have a thriving underground church who would never have known the wonder of salvation were it not for the call of God upon a little girl’s life.
But this story just has no ending. In a strange twist of events, Mama Zulfa would meet again with the pastor who led her to salvation…