Luc and Rachelle* had made the big decision. It was time to sell their house and downsize in order to lower their expenses. The couple began the process of reducing their belongings and they went online to post household items for sale.
One night, a couple responded to one of the furniture listings. Bruno and Therese, a recently-immigrated couple from Africa, were interested in a number of pieces. Arrangements were made but when they arrived to pick up the items, Bruno realized their vehicle wasn’t big enough to hold it all. Luc offered to load some of the pieces onto his vehicle and drive it over to Bruno’s place. Bruno and Therese were very appreciative as Luc arrived at their place with the items. He even helped them carry the furniture into the house and set everything up.
When the job was completed, Luc took a moment to invite the young couple to a special Christmas outreach program that his church was hosting that very evening. Much to Luc’s surprise, Bruno and Therese expressed interest in attending. They shared with Luc that since their arrival in Canada several months earlier, they hadn’t been on any outings; this was going to be their first.
That evening at the Christmas program was the beginning of a friendship with the young couple. As they became better acquainted, Luc and Rachelle had the opportunity to mention a Bible study they often teach that explains the Bible’s main message. While the couple was open to hearing about the study, neither expressed interest in attending such a study at the time. However, about a year later, Bruno phoned Luc and said that he was now ready to do the Bible study. Therese was also interested, but wondered how both she and Bruno could sit through a study each week when they had two young children who needed babysitting. Rachelle stepped in and offered to watch the children at a nearby park during the weekly sessions when Luc would do the study. This arrangement worked and Luc prepared to lead the couple through Par ce nom, the French edition of By This Name.
And so they began. As the study progressed, Bruno’s and Therese’s understanding of the Bible became clearer. Bruno had some Bible background because he had studied to join the clergy at one point in his past. But he was not always in agreement with what they were learning. Often, when he was answering questions in the workbook, he would state, “Well, this is what I think, but the book says…” Luc didn’t confront Bruno’s comments, instead letting Scripture speak for itself. Therese, on the other hand, had very little to say as they progressed through the book. It was hard to know what she was thinking or if the message she was hearing was having any impact.
Once they had finished the study, Luc gave the couple a short questionnaire in order to gauge their understanding of the gospel message and to clarify if a decision had been made regarding their own personal faith in Christ. Despite her minimal participation and seeming lack of interest during the study, Therese expressed a clear understanding of the gospel and affirmed that she was putting her trust in Jesus’ gift of salvation. She was confident in her salvation and understood that it could only be gained through faith in Christ and not through works. Luc and Rachelle were delighted to hear this and were very thankful to God.
On the other hand, Bruno struggled with what he had learned. His previous study of religion had convinced him that simply trusting in Jesus was not enough. He had to work to earn God’s favour. It wasn’t that he didn’t understand what Luc had taught; he simply didn’t accept it.
Luc and Rachelle have not given up on Bruno. They continue to be friends with him and are praying that he will cease to rely on his own strength and place his trust in Jesus for salvation. In the mean time, they are encouraging Therese in her walk with God and guiding her as she learns more about the Bible.
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)