Going to the Mall and Finding the World

Going to the Mall

God changed our plans that day. Lori and I were going to hang out for several hours in a different part of Orlando. Due to the traffic, we ended up poking around Artegon Marketplace.  A new shop, featuring Hunza items, caught my eye; I made a beeline to it.

We were greeted by Mirza, who was arranging his wares, and we started into a 15-minute conversation. Mirza explained that Hunza is an area in Pakistan, but is disputed with China and Tibet. He described the small group of people he belonged to and the unique version of Islam that they followed. He explained that his people group and language were very small.

We remarked at his good English.

“I went to a Catholic school,” he said. “They offered the best education.”

“I’ll bet we can find a film in your language,” I said, showing him the JESUS Film media app. Mirza installed the app on his phone. I demonstrated how to click through to the map of Pakistan to pull up all the film translations for his country. I was disappointed that his language had not been translated for the film yet.

“Here’s Urdu,” he cried, tapping on the screen. The movie started playing in Urdu as he informed us he could also speak Urdu well.

As we talked about faith, Mirza explained that he continued to believe in God, but had abandoned religion because of all the prejudice and killing he’d seen. He mentioned a belief in a Messiah (his word was slightly different), so I stated that Jesus was the coming Messiah, describing a bit about who He is.

“I would like to visit a church,” he offered. “I will bring Hari, too,” he said, gesturing to another man behind the sales counter.

We were so impressed that Mirza and his business partner plan for the eventual profits from the store to be used to help needy women and children back in Hunza. I pointed to photos, on the shop walls, of women working on their crafts.

“They are Hindu women,” he said sadly. “They are treated so poorly.”

We exchanged business cards and I’ve invited him to go to church with us. Thank you for praying for Mirza’s and Hari’s salvation and that we will be able to continue to interact with them.

Hunza 700

Finding the World

Lori and I rejoiced at this opportunity to witness and prayed for Mirza after we left.

Our next stop was at a store of Peruvian goods. The woman wasn’t particularly chatty but did offer to tell us that the woman in the next lane over was from Columbia.

A few minutes later we were looking at items from Russia. One of the two women was particularly interesting, but I’ll save her story for the next post of The Sower.

Thank you for praying for me to be faithful to exalt Christ as God gives these opportunities.

NOTES:

  • This beautiful photo from Hunza is licensed on Wikimedia Commons.
  • The JESUS Film has been translated into over 1,400 languages.
  • Family-friendly Artegon is more interactive than a typical mall; the shops are run by local artisans and others.
  • I changed the names of these men.

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