Allison became a friend.

Long nights were spent in her shop as she made tea, shared milk she could have sold, and asked me about a handful of moral issues. I would share what the bible said, but Allison is a woman of many words and fleeting thoughts. We could speak freely, mainly because we weren’t speaking Arabic—so her family couldn’t know what we were discussing.

The evenings when I had reached my limit in practicing Arabic, but wanted an excuse to relax with a friend, I would visit Allison’s shop. Allison prides herself in being intelligent, educated, and never ever naïve. Yet when I would speak of Christ, the ideas seemed to fly in one ear, out the other, then off to space never to be found again.

Then I left the country for a week. Two days after my return, I bumped into Allison, who exclaimed that I hadn’t visited her in many weeks. I promised to visit in the next few days, and continued on with what was becoming a very exhausting week. My promise resonated in my mind a few days later, as I knew that afternoon would be my last opportunity to visit for a week. My roommate prayed with me, and I went out to visit Allison, honestly dreading the need to interact with people.

I arrived to find Allison sitting in front of a short table and a bulky laptop, with a look of relief as she exclaimed, “Oh good! I prayed you would come today!”

Because she’d missed me, she’d looked up bible verses. There were several she’d saved, because she wanted to understand what they meant. God truly guided her to the right verses, for they summed up the basics of the gospel, and just about everything that made my Muslim friends squirm. We discussed each part of each verse, until she finally nodded, pointed to the screen, and declared: “I believe that.”

“Which part?” I inquired.

“All of it.” My mouth dropped. I, her one Christian friend, had been reluctant to visit. Yet here I was, witnessing the first profession of faith we’ve heard of among this tribe–this people group–in this part of the world.

-V. V.

North Africa