Last fall, John,* a Gospel Outreach Bible worker, traveled to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, for a three-week training program. Not wanting to leave his wife and children home alone, he brought them along. The plan was that they would stay with John’s mother, who was renting a house in Khartoum.
Unfortunately, when John and his family arrived and were about to get situated for the stay, Mark, the landlord, dropped by with bad news.
You can’t stay here
“You can’t stay here,” Mark told John. Nothing John could say would change Mark’s mind. It was time to find another solution.
John checked around and finally found a hotel room for his family, but the family also decided to pray that Mark would have a change of heart and let them stay at the house with John’s mother.
Two days later, Mark called. “Hi, John. I’ve been thinking about your request. I’m sorry for not letting your family stay with your mother,” Mark said. “If you still need a place, I can let you stay there for the three weeks you’ll be in town.”
Can I borrow your books?
At the house, Mark told John, “I’ve looked through your belongings, and I didn’t see any alcoholic beverages. I found inspirational books and Bibles instead. I trust you and your family to stay here.” Mark then asked if he could borrow some of John’s books.
When John returned to see his family after the training program ended, Mark stopped by to welcome him back.
“I’ve been reading in these books. They’re very interesting. Could we talk about some of the topics soon?” Mark asked. “Also, my house is your house. You can stay as long as you like. Your family brings peace to this place.”
“Of course, I’d be happy for us to talk about what you’ve read. Our family can stay for a while longer. Thank you for the hospitality,” John said.
We want children
As the two men continued talking, Mark told John that he and his wife were trying to get pregnant.
“We both want children, but haven’t had any success so far. Medication and witchcraft haven’t worked. Each weekend, I stay home from military training to be with my wife, and we are now praying about this. We’re thinking that maybe God is the answer. Would you pray for us too?”
“Of course,” John agreed.
A few months later, Mark received his first Bible. He told John how encouraging it was to read the story of Hannah, a woman who was blessed with a child after many years of infertility (1 Samuel 1:1-19).
“If God did that for Hannah, perhaps He’ll do it for us too,” Mark said.
Now Mark has started Bible studies with John. Mark and his wife also continue to pray for the gift of a child. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will lead Mark and his wife as they grow in their relationship with Jesus. And join them in praying that their home will soon be filled with the sounds of the baby their hearts long for.
*The names in this story have been changed.