Pramana had been born into a people group with a population of twenty-four million. In his people group, there were only three known followers of Jesus, and no church. The only religion that he had ever practiced or known while growing up had been a sort of folk Islam. Pramana knew the Quran by rote. He couldn’t actually speak Arabic, so he simply memorized the words of the book as if it was a part of some sort of magic formula. He knew the story of Mohammed, of course. But he had never heard of anybody called Jesus, never met a believer, and he had no idea what the Bible was.
” Five years ago, “he told me, “my life was in ruins. My wife and I were always fighting; I was ready to divorce a woman. My children were disrespectful. My animals were not growing or multiplying. My crops were dying in the field.
“So I went to the imam of the nearest mosque for help,” Pramana continued.
The imam, who also functioned as the local spiritualist, told him, “Okay, son, here is what you need to do. Go buy a white chicken. Bring it to me and I will sacrifice it on your behalf. Then, go back to your village to meditate and fast for three days and three nights. On the third day, you will receive the answer to all the problems that you are having with your wife, your children, your animals, and your crops.”
Pramana did exactly as he was told. He went back to his village. He meditated, he fasted, and he waited. Then, as he explained it: “I’ll never forget, on the third night, a voice without a body came to me after midnight. That voice said,’Find Jesus, find the gospel.'”
This Muslim man had no clue what that even meant. He didn’t know if Jesus might be a fruit or a rock or a tree. Pramana told me that the voice with a body also said, “Get out of bed, go over the mountain, and walk down the coast to _______ ( a city where he had never been). When you get to that city at daybreak, you will see two men. When you see those men, ask them where _____ street is. They will show you the way. Walk up and down the street and look for this number. When you find the number, knock on the door. When the door opens, tell the person why you have come.”
Pramana did not know that it was an option to be disobedient to the Holy Spirit. He simply assumed that he was required to obey what he had been instructed to do. So he went. He didn’t even tell his wife that he was leaving, let alone where he was going. It turns out that he would be gone for two full weeks. During that time, his family had no idea where he was.
Pramana simply got out of bed, hiked over the mountain, trekked down the coast, and arrived in the specified city the next morning at daylight. He saw two men who told him where to find the street he wanted. He walked up and down that street until he found the building with the right number on it. He knocked on the door. A moment later, an older gentleman open the door and asked, “Can I help you?”
The younger man declared: “I have come to find Jesus; I have come to find the gospel! “In a flash, the old man’s hand shot out from the darkened doorway. He grabbed Pramana by the shirt, dragged him into the apartment, and slammed the door behind him. The old man released his grip and exclaimed, “You Muslims must think I am a fool to fall for trap as transparent as this! ”
The very startled and confused traveler replied, “I don’t know if you are a fool or not, sir. I just met you. But here is why I’ve come. “Then Pramana told the older man the story of how he had come to be there that day.
The Holy Spirit of the Living God had led this young Muslim man through his dream and vision and his obedience to the home of one of the three believers in his twenty-four million people group. Stunned, the older man explain the gospel to this young Muslim man and let him to Christ.
This story is from Nik Ripken’s book “The Insanity of God”, which details his life as a missionary and student of the persecuted church in closed countries. I have met Nik and his wife Ruth several times (the first time was when they were having a dinner meeting with young missionaries at my work!), and can attest to their passion and commitment to the Lord’s command to go and see the Gospel transform hearts, lives, and eternities even in the darkest places.
Check out the book for even more amazing stories of God’s work in the far corners of the world! He is doing big things through ordinary people!
Prayer: For God’s people to be willing (and joyful) to leave the known, and go out on the adventure God is calling them to, whatever that looks like, starting with me!
*Complete, miraculous healing for the masses growing in J’s back and for God to get the praise when he does it! Thanking him preemptively! 🙂