Salahden stopped us short as we were starting to share the Gospel with him over coffee.
“I thought you were going to tell me if I do suicide, that is a sin.”
I made sure I didn’t overreact to such a serious statement. My roommates and I met Salahden one of our first few nights in Asia. We had dinner with him as part of a team exercise to help us get acquainted with the campus where we would be doing ministry. At that first meeting, he told us over dinner how his girlfriend broke up with him recently. We took down his info but had no way to contact him until recently.
Recently we got to reconnect with him and share the Gospel. He asked about suicide because he has been very depressed lately. He is from a Muslim minority group and his girlfriend isn’t. Last year she visited him a few times at school. When she was staying somewhere locally, she contracted what I understood as a skin disease. He blames himself for her sickness, which is getting progressively worse.
So after sharing the Gospel with him, it became clear that this night was more about listening to him and comforting him as a friend. His girlfriend doesn’t live in X-town with Salahden so he doesn’t get to see her. It seems her parents have also forbidden her from communicating with him. His parents may also be of the same mindset since she is not a Muslim and his family is.
God definitely had a hand in us reconnecting with him. A few days before we got coffee with him we “happened” to see him on a campus of about 22,000 students. At first, he wasn’t going to come over and say hello when he saw us first. He thought we didn’t want to be his friends since we hadn’t reached out to him. But I am so glad he came over! Fortunately, he was very gracious to us when we explained we didn’t have our phones set up so we could not reach him after we met him.
Please be lifting Salahden up in your prayers. I want to be able to comfort him for sure. But ultimately I want us to be able to lead him to God.