Kaan* studied Bruno and Natalia intently, wondering why this foreign couple wanted to learn his native language. “Are you guys Christians?” he finally asked.

The young gospel workers were taken aback. They’d recently arrived in the Middle East and planned to settle in a nearby country where it was forbidden to share Jesus openly. But first, they needed to learn the nation’s language. They’d contacted Kaan to see whether he might be willing to teach them.

Kaan had agreed to meet Bruno and Natalia in a public setting,  and he’d seemed friendly and relaxed until now.

“We were afraid to answer his question,” Natalia said later, "but we couldn’t avoid it. We said yes, silently praying for God to take control.”

The couple were as unprepared for Kaan’s response as they had been for his question.

“I’d be happy to teach you,” he said quietly, “because I’m studying the Bible.”

The couple looked at each other in surprise. Has God led us to Kaan for a reason? they wondered. That night, they asked God to help them be a blessing to Kaan and to enable him to learn more about God’s Word.

During their second class, Kaan shocked Bruno and Natalia again when he opened his bag and took out a Bible. He asked Bruno to name his favorite Bible book and explain why it was special to him. Bruno did so happily.

During one class, Kaan asked Bruno what he did in his home country. Bruno said that he studied theology. Then Kaan asked, “What do you do here?” Bruno hesitantly told him that he was a pastor.

Kaan looked astonished and asked, “So you can help me learn more about the Bible?”

“I’d love to,” Bruno replied, thanking God for this answer to prayer. The new friends talked about the Bible for several hours that day.

Bruno and Natalia began reading the Bible with Kaan for an hour after each class. They studied many topics, including the sanctuary, the prophecies in Daniel, and the book of Revelation. Kaan’s family even began studying the Bible!

Kaan started attending church on Sabbath with Bruno and Natalia and volunteered to serve as their translator.

One day, Bruno and Natalia learned that Kaan had lost his job because he wasn’t working on Saturday. They shared his situation with the leaders of the local mission field, and they hired Kaan as an official translator for the church.

Your weekly mission offerings help support the ministry of the Adventist Church in the Middle East and North Africa. Thank you!

During this time, the weekly sermons were about the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Adventist faith. Kaan and his family attended regularly. Bruno and Natalia could see the happiness on Kaan’s face as he learned more about the Bible.

After studying with Bruno and Natalia for several months, Kaan asked to be baptized. His new friends were delighted!

A few weeks later, their teacher became their brother in faith and gave his life to Jesus.

* All names have been changed.

Bruno and Natalia participate in the “Waldensian Student” initiative, a frontline mission approach in which Seventh-day Adventist students live, study, and serve in secular universities in specific countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Following Christ’s example of outreach, they mingle with people,  win their confidence, minister to their needs, and as opportunities arise, bid them to follow Jesus.

For information on how to become a “Waldensian Student” or how to sponsor their unique ministry, contact info@adventistmena.org

Chanmin Chung
Chanmin Chung is the communication coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission.