Missional Living

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Q A good friend at school is Muslim. Her parents are really hard on her. How can I help?

A I commend you for befriending someone from a different religious background and culture than yours. It must be really tough to see your friend experience trouble in her family and the cultural factors that are in play. Although you may feel a sense of helplessness and concern, you can support your friend.

First, let her know that you are there for her. You can’t change things in her home. But when she comes to school, let her know she has in you a listening ear. You are not there to replace her parents but to be a friend and peer who understands and supports her.

Second, pray for her. Bringing the entire family before the Lord is the first step in allowing him to change things. Perhaps ask your family to join you in praying “to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20) for your friend’s family. Your friend’s struggle within her family could be an opportunity for them to reevaluate their lives and find the Savior who has been looking for them.

Finally, remain hopeful. Your friend confided in you because she saw in you the raw materials of hope that Isaiah mentioned: “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isa. 40:31). Continue to be hopeful for her.

By God’s grace, your presence and praying over time just might prompt her to ask, “What must I do to be saved?” Also, I am praying for you.

About the Author

Reginald Smith is the Director of Diversity for the Christian Reformed Church. He attends Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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