As we walked toward the beautiful mosque, tourists were taking photos and eagerly waiting to go inside. In order to enter, the women had to put on black abayas and head coverings provided by the mosque. All had to remove their shoes. My friend found it a bit funny that I was wearing an abaya like her; she had to help me with my head covering so it would stay on. As I looked around, I realized that my friend was the only true Muslim waiting to go inside. The others were all tourists, just like I had been three years ago.
I suddenly remembered those uncomfortable feelings of so many unknowns and foreign things to which I had to adjust. One was being around covered Muslim women with only their eyes showing. Now, three years later, I stood in the same place I once visited as a tourist, but this time with one of my closest friends, a covered Muslim.
This dear friend is now reluctantly moving back to her native country with her eight children. Later that same day we had to go to the embassy to apply for a passport for her infant; I was the only white person in the entire place.
While waiting, another covered woman asked my friend, “Who is this lady with you?”
My friend responded, “She is my friend, but more like my sister.”
This was all spoken in Urdu, but thankfully I could understand their conversation. Again, my heart was blessed. I was reminded that God has a plan for me and that all He desires is for me to be obedient. The results of my efforts are up to Him, not me.
I constantly have to remind myself of that, living in this Muslim country. The work is slow, the soil is dry and hard, the rain rarely comes, and the fruit is not often seen. Nevertheless, our Father is the Master Planter, and He will bring the harvest. I just have to wait on Him and continue to plow along as He leads. What an encouraging time this day was for me. The Father reminded me that in His time, with His love and in trusting Him, I can make a difference in the lives of others.