James* is a missionary in West Africa. He has been using L’Homme sur le chemin d’Emmaüs, the French edition of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, in his ministry with those he disciples.
When the date arrived for his annual vehicle inspection, James did what every other vehicle owner in the African nation does: prepare for a long, hot wait in line for bureaucracy to do its thing. Knowing he’d likely be waiting for more than a few hours, James brought along his copy of L’Homme sur le chemin d’Emmaüs to study and prepare for a coming lesson.
He got his vehicle into the queue and went to the waiting area. James pulled out his book and began to review it, but before long, a stranger walked up to him. “That’s my favourite book!” he exclaimed. James was startled. He wasn’t aware that the book was available in West Africa. The man hurriedly explained, “My colleague and I are going through that book together at work. He told me a young American gave him the book and has been going through it with him.”
It quickly became apparent that James was the “young American” in question, so the African shared a little more of his story: “After he finishes each Bible lesson at your home, he comes to work and shows me what you’ve been studying. It has totally changed how I view the Bible and Christianity!”
The man took over James’s book and began to flip through the pages. When he came to various pictures or sections in the book, he would stop and explain to James how that part had really helped him understand the Bible’s message. Then he’d thumb over a few more pages and share how another part had impacted him.
He confided that it was through reading L’Homme sur le chemin d’Emmaüs that he had come trust Jesus as his Saviour.
James and his new African friend were able to have a good long chat while they waited for their vehicle inspections to be completed. In the end, they agreed on a time to study the Bible together.
James was thrilled with this new contact, but there was something more. This was the first time James realized that one of the men he had been discipling was in turn teaching others. James realized that the colleague of his new friend was a man James had met on the street several months ago. They had been studying the Bible together ever since. James was elated to discover that a man he’d been teaching had been actively making disciples of his own!
The morning of sitting in line that James had been dreading had now become a morning for rejoicing!
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)