Rugiatu’s family thought she was suffering a spiritual attack.
For two days, she lay on her bed, hopeless. Her family consulted native methods of spiritual healing, but nothing helped.
When an Every Home team visited Rugiatu’s house in Sierra Leone, they asked to pray for her. At first, her family was reluctant to agree.
“Why would you Christians pray for us Muslims?” they asked.
The world is full of divides between people. Many may seem impassible. A language barrier may seem even more insurmountable than a steep mountain range. But, often, the deepest ravines form between people of different beliefs.
"Why would you Christians pray for us Muslims?"
Divides that seem insurmountable can make love unfathomable.
The question Rugiatu’s family asked sounds a lot like the question the Samaritan woman asked Jesus in John 4:9:
“‘You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)”
In Jesus’ day, the Samaritans and Jews shared history and geography and derived their differing beliefs from some of the same scriptures. But each group believed the other had departed from true faith, and they despised each other for it.
At the root of questions, “why would you ask me for a drink?” or “why would you pray for me?” lies the deeper question: “Why would you care about me?”
The answer the Every Home team embodied as they gathered around Rubiatu’s bed is that the gospel is for everyone. New life and living water are for everyone. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. That love doesn’t stop at country borders or the doors of people who are different from us.
After some consideration, one of Rugiatu’s aunts encouraged her family to let the Every Home team pray. After the team had prayed intensely, Rugiatu got up and asked for water.
Rugiatu’s story “brought salvation in that home,” the team reports. “The entire family gave their lives to Jesus.”
The love of Jesus and the prayers of his people can cross any divide, difference, or obstacle.
From April 13 to May 13, 2021, Muslims around the world will observe Ramadan and seek spiritual revelation and righteousness through fasting and prayer. Christians can cross the deep barriers of difference through prayer, asking that the truth and love of Jesus would reach hopeless hearts like Rugiatu.