That’s probably the longest title I’ve ever had and ever will have, but it serves it’s purpose.
My friend Shannon interned with Cru last year at UTC. For her summer position, Cru sent her to work on a summer project where I’ll be. She just got back last week and was anxious to meet with me to share what God did while they were there.
Well, now that you’ve met my friend Shannon, I want to share with you some of the stories she shared with me!
Amazing Story Number 1: There was an American student on Shannon’s team named Emily*. She had a dream one night that she was in Heaven. A native man, who she’s never met, came up to her and said, “Thank you for coming to this nation. Because of you all coming, all of these people now know Christ.” And he stepped aside and there was a multitude of people behind him. Encouraging dream, right? Well it gets better just you wait!
About two days later, they all go out onto the campus to do some outreach. I can’t remember exactly how this part went down, but a guy ends up being led to Christ. And who do you think that guy was? Yep. The guy from Emily’s dream. So, Emily is like um… no way. That is the guy from my dream! How crazy is that!?
So, not only is that awesome and probably greatly encouraged the S.P. team, but that encourages me! Their work is not in vain. Nine people put their trust in Christ this summer, and the gospel was shared over 800 times. In John chapter 4 Jesus talks about the harvest being ripe, sowers having sowed before us, and reaping the benefits of seeds that were previously planted. I’m excited to share the gospel with those who have never heard. And I will be encouraged by God growing what was planted long before I get there.
Amazing story number 2: I can’t remember if Shannon said they were on an outreach when they met this one guy, but I’m pretty sure this was a student they were talking to. This one guy apparently was talking to them saying that he kept having this dream about Jesus and he didn’t know why. Side note: Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, but not the promised Messiah or savior. The stories of Jesus in the Qur’an are very limited, and most Muslims don’t know of or believe in the miracles Jesus performed.
Anyways, this guy was saying that Jesus was standing next to a well and kept offering him water. WATER. WATER FROM THE WELL! How stinkin’ amazing is that!? If you’re not familiar with the story of Jesus and the woman at the well, you could probably be thinking that I’m nuts right now. So allow me to take a few minutes to explain why this is so awesome.
In John chapter 4, Jesus stops at this well in Samaria. The Jews didn’t like Samaritans because of the split during the Babylonian exile (I think…). The Samaritan religious leaders and the Jewish religious leaders didn’t think it was cool, or kosher, to hang with each other. My roommate described it as this elitist tension between the groups, the Samaritans were looked down upon. So, here’s Jesus. The Messiah and God in the flesh hanging out at a well in Samaria.
Jesus is at this well and there is a Samaritan woman drawing water at the well. Jesus asks her for a drink of water, and she’s shocked. Jews didn’t associate with the Samaritans let alone drink anything they had to offer. So they start talking and Jesus tells her that there is a well that is greater than the one she is drawing from. He says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
This woman is like, “Man, I need that!” So they get to talking and he basically tells her about her past and that He knows about it. The really cool thing is that He sees her sin, lets her know He knows, and still offers her grace, mercy, and forgiveness. He then reveals to her that He is the promised Messiah. “The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
The woman at the well runs back to the people in her town and shares with them all that just happened. They investigate it for themselves and come to this conclusion: “They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’”
Jesus offers all of us this living water. The fact that this student, who probably has never heard this story before, keeps seeing Jesus in his dreams offering him water is amazing. We are all spiritually thirsty. Apart from Christ there is going to be this want, desire to be fulfilled, and longing for something more. Christ is the living water that we so desire. And he’s offering it to us. It’s amazing that we have these stories and almost take them for granted. The Senegalese don’t know these stories, but Christ is going to them in ways we think is weird. He comes to them in dreams and is inching them closer and closer to Him. And that’s awesome.