"Please come back tomorrow, we want to hear more!" the policemen said to Des*, an OM worker in Turkey. "Our shift starts at 19:00 tomorrow, so any time after that, please come!"
A couple of hours earlier, Des’s street evangelism team had prayed that God would guide them to the people He'd prepared to hear the Gospel. Then they split up and headed in different directions.
Shortly afterwards, Des walked up to a guy sitting on a park bench. He was an English-speaking Palestinian who had only been in the country for a couple of weeks. His Jordanian passport had been stolen, but because he didn't know Turkish, he had not been able to tell the police what had happened. Des offered to translate for him at the closest police station.
While finding out about the Palestinian man's situation, the police also learned of Des’s connection with the church and became very interested in talking with him. After the Palestinian man left, the police begged Des to stay and talk more. He ended up staying at the police station for over two hours. They talked about a range of subjects, including whether the Bible had been changed, why Jesus had to die, what is the greatest love, why the oft-repeated phrase ‘Allah is all merciful’ actually ends up encouraging religious people to sin more rather than less, religious freedom, and many more topics.
Des noticed that a third policeman joined their conversation. Many times, one police officer would turn to another and say, "He's right; what he's saying is true!"
By the end of the conversation, one policeman exclaimed, "Well, then what are we to do? We can't just be religion-less! That'd be even worse, wouldn't it?" The policemen recognised the emptiness of the faith they'd inherited but saw no acceptable alternative. Rejecting Islam could mean losing their jobs or being rejected by their family and friends.
The policemen begged Des to come back the next day, and Des said he hoped that he and other believers would be able to talk with them again. Des said that police stations are one of his favourite places to share Jesus. He prayed that more of these policemen would have the courage to follow where their consciences (and the Holy Spirit) were leading them!
When the street evangelism team prayed that God would guide them to those He'd prepared to hear, who would have thought that it would take a Palestinian in a park to get Des to the policemen in the station who had been prepared to hear?