Kent Bryant's family was in our very first church ministry during the '70's. Today he's a husband, father and missionary in Fiji with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF.) We reconnected on facebook. Earlier this year he shared quite a story. So I asked him to let me pass it along on my blog (from his own.) He graciously gave me permission.
A NEW PRECIOUS JEWEL
Malachi 3:17 "And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. . ."
During the past four years, Kent has endeavored to build a bridge of friendship with Rajan (RAH'John), an Indian young man who works at a nearby supermarket. Rajan recently started wearing a necklace with a cross on it. Noticing the cross pendant, Kent asked Rajan if he knew the story about the cross. He didn't. So Rajan was invited to come to the CEF office to hear the story. One Friday night Kent and Rajan sat at the reception area so Kent could explain the Gospel via the salvation truths which are beautifully carved in the CEF letters which hang on the wall in the reception area.
Rajan enjoyed listening to the Good News that the heavenly Father loves him. But he was extremely resistant to the news that he was a sinner as this concept of personal sin is not part of Hinduism. Kent finished explaining the Gospel story, but then asked Rajan to think about the truths he had learned.
The next evening, we were relaxing and enjoying a family night. We were surprised when Rajan showed up around 8:15 PM. We fed him dinner and he expressed interest in receiving that free gift of salvation. Meanwhile, he asked if he could listen to an old iPod that he found in the dorm room. There was no connection cord.
Kent turned his back for a few minutes to ask our son, Jeremy, to check the iPod. It was dead. Rajan put down his dead iPod and went downstairs to the dorms.
Jeremy suddenly remembered his new iPod Touch and went to pick it up from the living room. IT WAS GONE! Sick at heart, we searched the apartment. Kent and Jeremy went downstairs twice to ask Rajan about the missing iPod Touch. Rajan denied having any knowledge of its whereabouts.
Kent searched Rajan's backpack twice before finally telling Rajan that he was no longer allowed to be on the CEF property until we located the iPod Touch. All weekend our family greived over this betrayal of trust as we searched for the missing iPod. In particular, we, as parents, grieved that our son was paying the price of our obedience to the Lord for sharing the Gospel as a missionary family.
Kent also grieved the broken relationship with Rajan.
Several days later, a volunteer came running upstairs holding the missing iPod Touch, which had been hidden behind a mirror down in the dorm. Jeremy was ecstatic to have it back!
Three weeks went by. Rajan came by twice to offer Indian sweets to Kent. Each time, Kent graciously thanked Rajan, assured him of his love, accepted the love gifts, but stuck to his word about not allowing Rajan back into the building. Finally, Rajan arranged to talk to Kent on Monday, March 12. In that meeting, Kent asked Rajan about the whereabouts of the iPod Touch, not yet revealing it had been found. Kent wanted him to have enough time to admit his sin, asking Rajan to simply say five words, "Yes sir, I did it."
As Rajan hesitated to speak, Kent explained that, although he still loved him, their friendship was broken. As there had been no one else on the property that evening, we knew Rajan had to have taken the iPod Touch. Kent needed to have him admit to what he had done. Rajan finally said, "Sir, I did it."
At that point Kent stood up and hugged him, saying, "I love you for telling the truth."
As Kent talked about their broken friendship that needed to be repaired through admitting the wrong and asking forgiveness, he told Rajan about his friendship with God which also broken. With that explanation, spiritual understanding finally dawned! Rajan admitted he had sinned, his friendship with God was broken and he needed a Savior. Rajan was born again!
Kent gave him a Bible and a correspondence Bible lesson for follow-up.
The next day, Rajan showed up during his lunch break with his completed Bible lesson. He had studied for two hours the night before and read the first pages of his new Bible. He was so excited when Kent wrote 100% on his lesson. Every day the first week he returned to get his new lesson. It brings us great joy to see his hunger for spiritual truths.
What a story of a great God Who has great mercy and goes to great lengths to have the lost sinner understand the greatest story ever told, so that there would be another precious jewel in God's forever family!