Presence, the second largest of our blocks, is about being with your Muslim friends. Muslims, and middle-easterners in general, are event-oriented people. It’s not about “quality time” for them; it’s about the quantity of time you spend with them. This is difficult for most of us to understand because we lead busy lives that leave little time for friendship. However, if you plan to share the gospel with your Muslim friends, you need to carve time out of your schedule to be with them. Invite them to go places with you, even if it seems mundane. Remember, it’s about time, do not worry about what you are doing; just be with them.
As you spend time with your Muslim friends, it’s important that you help them with the needs they have here in the U.S. When you go to their home, ask if you can help them with something. Maybe they need help with a letter they received from their school about their kids, but they do not understand what they are supposed to do. Perhaps they need help making a doctor’s visit or going to the dentist.
If they’re immigrants to the U.S., take them grocery shopping, and show them the things you buy. Something as simple as navigating the grocery store can make a difference; in their home country there are probably only one or two choices for something like milk or bread. In the U.S., the options may overwhelm them. When my wife and I lived overseas, it was incredible to find those friends who helped us understand how schools and doctors worked. So do likewise; help your Muslim friend figure out those differences, and you will win a friend for life.
If you live overseas, make sure the native people understand your role in the community and how you add value to it. If you run a business, make a profit and work at your business. While overseas, we worked for a humanitarian relief agency. The neighbors saw me go to work every day and saw the results of our aid and development work. At times, they asked us to visit other villages to do development work there. The key is to make sure your job is legitimate and that you produce something of value. If you do not assign yourself a “role” they understand, then the community will assign you a role, and it might not be the “role” for which you had hoped.
Published June 22, 2017