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The Long Arc of Grace in Lena’s Life

April 20, 2012

No one knows what a day will hold. I went to hear Father Zakaria Boutros speak in Arizona last month. Many believers from the Middle East came to hear his wisdom. When we introduced ourselves, I heard a woman on the other side of the room say that she was a Kurdish believer from Iraq. That makes her one in a million. I went and spoke to her in Kurdish. She asked, “Are you Bob Blincoe?” “Yes,” I replied in utter amazement. “I knew you in Iraq!” said exclaimed, “and your whole family was Christian, and from your family I first heard the gospel.”

And then I remembered her. I always wondered what happened to her after we left Iraq in 1996. Suddenly, here was Lena, in Arizona, a Christian now and telling me her testimony.

“I thought you were so crazy back then,” she said, “with nothing that a Muslim would want from your Christianity. But now I am a believer, and Christ has forgiven my sins. Praise God!”

Here is what Lena wrote to me the next day:

Evening Sidelwalk

For those seeking Truth, God's grace works all events and circumstances to direct them to the abundant, eternal life offered through Jesus Christ.

“As a child, I remember the Qur’an being read.  Every time I heard the words of the Qur’an my heart became sad and fearful.  The God the Qur’an was very angry, demanding and controlling. After I met the Blincoes and other Christians in Iraq the situation was becoming very dangerous for all of us because of Saddam. I came to live in America.

” So many things were confusing. I opened the Qur’an hoping I could find some answers within the pages.  I was surprised to find many verses about Jesus.  It speaks of Him creating, resurrecting people from the dead, that He is the Word of God, He is from the Holy Spirit, He has the power to heal, and that He is alive in Heaven and that He will come again to judge and condemn the world at the end of time.  I was amazed at the power that was accredited to Jesus.  I wondered how a man thought only to be a prophet could possess such power.

“I knelt down on my knees. I prayed to God with all my heart that He would guide me to Him. Many Christians talked to me over the next months. Finally, my answer came – the Christian way of the Bible is the only true way to God.  I began desire the Word of God.  I then understood that it was Jesus who had been in the light, and it was His precious voice that had spoken to me.  I then became a Christian and accepted Jesus Christ into my heart.  The Bible speaks of this in John 10:16. ‘I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen, I must bring them in also.  They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.’  I was baptized after six months.”

Since the day I saw again Lena after all these years my wife and I have been excited to think of all the unknown endings to the stories that God in His providence has allowed us to be part of.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2012 7:13 pm

    What a wonderful story…! We don’t often get to see the fruit of the seed we plant, but what a blessing when we can, and what a good reminder to stay faithful!


  2. Betty Braddy permalink
    May 15, 2012 4:29 am

    Bob & Jan such a great story abt Lena… I’ve experienced similar … someone yrs later remembering what I/we’ve done for them only thru the leading of our Lord…. things that many times we can’t even remember. One time we couldn’t even remember the people. God does reward w/wonderful stories like Lena time and again for all that you do… Praise Him. Betty Braddy

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