“I’m sorry, the number you have dialed is not in service.” Hearing this message for the third time, I sighed with frustration. I had arrived in Central Asia a few days earlier and was trying to reach my friend, Fatima. The emails I sent her had been returned. I knew she had moved, but I did not know where. All means of contacting her were failing.
“I used to think that Jesus was just for Westerners,” she told me. “But now I am starting to understand that He is for all people.”
I had met Fatima in 2009, on my first visit to the country while at an English program I helped with that summer. She was closer to my age than most of the other students and seemed in need of a friend. We spent some enjoyable times together. She was open to talking about spiritual things and we had a number of conversations regarding prayer, seeking God’s will, and who Jesus is. She even called me once after I returned to the U.S.
Returning to her country with the hopes of seeing her again, it was difficult realizing I had no way to contact her. Feeling helpless, I began to pray, “Lord, if you want me to find Fatima, you’re going to have to cause her to come here, or call the house, or something. I can’t do anything about it. But you can.”
Four weeks passed. One afternoon, as I was entering the house, the phone began to ring. I raced to grab it. “Is this June?” said the voice on the other end. “No,” I replied, “This is Gail.”
“Oh!” cried the astonished voice. “Gail! This is Fatima!”
I was amazed. She had actually called. We immediately made plans to meet at a park on her day off.
In the ten days before I left, Fatima and I were able to meet twice. I shared with her the miracle of her phone call as an answer to my prayers. I told her that to me it was evidence that God is interested in our lives and cares enough to act on our behalf. She agreed.
As we talked, I discovered that Fatima had made friends with a woman who had given her a Bible. She was reading it. Before I left, I gave Fatima a copy of the Jesus film in her first language and she said that she wanted to watch it. “I used to think that Jesus was just for Westerners,” she told me. “But now I am starting to understand that He is for all people.”