Years ago in South Sudan a number of young Americans were beginning to come and work for longer periods of time. Young and single, they would occasionally take an interest in one another.
On one of my trips David Kaya pulled me aside and asked, "What is dating?"
While these young folks were completely appropriate, our Western culture of dating was - literally - foreign in South Sudan.
With Valentines on the mind, I want to talk about love, but it's here I'll leave romantic love and point you to unconditional love.
More and more of our work is among Muslim people who are serious about their faith. This is a good thing! Serious Muslims know the Koran. They know the Koran mentions the Bible and Jesus. When we hand them a bible (thanks to you!), they read it very quickly and want to talk about it.
They compare and contrast the bible with the Koran. At some point the intellectual comparisons come to an end.
The tipping point into Jesus is always the same: LOVE.
It's love that blows all their circuits. "GOD Himself loves me??!! Wait, He DIED for me and wants to know me?"
No more wondering about a god with a scale. No more working your way to heaven. The power of LOVE and grace and mercy explodes in their souls.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. -- John 4
Thanks for helping us bring the Good News of Jesus' great love to the hard places.