Today's post was written by Phyliss Wright, who is our Children's Ministry Associate.
While on a short-term mission trip this summer, I went into a henna tattoo salon. I love henna tattoos and would keep one year round if I could afford them. I also try to take advantage of the one-on-one time I have with the henna artists to share Christ with the workers. This year on our short-term trip to New York/New Jersey, God opened the door wide, and I had to walk through.
I entered the shop on the next to last day of Ramadan, so there were a number of Muslim ladies in the shop preparing for the celebration the next day. Facials, eyebrow threading (which I found to be extremely and tearfully painful), henna, and all sorts of other services were being performed. There were even several uni-browed men in the salon getting their celebratory threading. Ouch!
The lady who did my henna tattoo professed Hinduism; however, she was participating in Ramadan to “cover all of her bases.” She told me she fasted so she could sympathize with those who have no food and also to gain favor with her god. I thanked her for her care and concern for the hungry, but also told her we did not have to gain favor with God. As a matter of fact, no matter how hard we try, we cannot gain His favor. His favor was won for us through Christ’s death and resurrection.
I chose a tattoo that represented the Lord’s Supper. As she copied the artwork onto my hand, I was able to tell her about the reason for this celebration. She rarely made eye contact with me, but one comment she made gave me reason to hope. When I mentioned how I appreciated the meticulous way she tended to every detail of the tattoo, she said, “I know the symbols have great meaning for you, so I want to make sure I get them right.”
This henna salon is frequented during the summer months by a number of ladies on short-term mission trips. The employees can smell us coming a mile away. They know why we are there, but very graciously take the time to provide their services with excellence.
I almost didn’t open my mouth that day because of the fear that they were probably tired of our “antics.” However, God made it very clear that He chooses the day and time when He will open hearts to receive the Truth. He orchestrated our church planters' move to Jackson Heights in New York City and made sure these workers had a job in a salon where they would hear the gospel regularly. He opens their hearts; all I have to do is open my mouth.
Pray for these ladies. Pray that God will not allow their hearts to grow cold. Pray for the Brook Hills church multiplication team who is there year-round: Andy and Lisa Blake, Josh and Rachel Meredith, and Jake and Ashley Smith. These church planting team members are working among the 300,000 Indian Hindus God has moved to this area of our country.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Acts 17:26-27
To read another BH Women blog post on sharing the gospel using henna, click here to read "Henna and the Gospel" by Molly Werk.