When we think about sharing our faith with others, we often think about how people shared the gospel with us. Perhaps they used the Romans Road, the Four Spiritual laws, or a six-bead bracelet. All of these methods have been used greatly. However, these methods are not the only tools we can use to share the gospel.
As my husband and I have lived in an overseas context for four years, we’ve realized that the way we shared in an American context did not easily translate into an overseas context. One reason was because our language ability was limited and standard presentations were too complex. In addition, handing out tracts is dangerous and can cause trouble with local authorities. Even with these challenges, it does not mean that we change or water down the message of the gospel. It means that we must think creatively and strategically about how to share the timeless truths of the gospel so that they can be understood by those who need to know Jesus. Such an approach can be fruitful for different individuals as well as different people groups.
Working with Muslim people groups in East Asia, we have found that telling Bible stories through drawing henna has allowed women to hear Bible stories when they have not normally been willing come to a formal Bible study. We tell the Bible story and then draw the henna design of the story on their hands. While we are drawing the story on their hands, we are able to tell the story again. Then we will usually have the women tell the story back to us, to make sure they understand. The henna story will stay on their hand for up to one week.
We heard an amazing story about one of the ladies who came to one of our henna parties. After she left our house, she rode home in a taxi. The taxi driver said, “What’s that on your hand?” Pointing to the henna design drawn on her hand, she said, “Oh, it’s a story from the Bible about how Jesus came into this world to die on the cross for sins.” It was amazing to hear that this woman who has not yet confessed Jesus as her Savior was actually unknowingly sharing truths of the gospel with another person!
Additionally, we have had baking parties where women who desire to learn how to make homemade breads will come to our home. While the bread is rising or baking, we have time to talk and tell different stories from the Bible about bread. For example, Jesus refers to Himself as the “bread of life” (John 6:35), and He fed 5,000 men (not counting women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Finally, we can bear witness to the gospel in creative ways based on our daily lives. Every person has a family. Every person has hardships in their life. But the beauty of the good news Jesus brings is that it speaks to every single aspect of our lives. We should be able to talk about the weather and point back to Jesus. We should be able to talk about our favorite tea and point back to Jesus. More important than any method we use, and even if there remains somewhat of a language barrier, we should aim to point people to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior.