*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
There once was a man who dreamed vivid dreams. In his dreams, he met with God. He already knew God, or he thought he did. But this God from his dreams told him the only way to have the promise of eternal life was through Jesus Christ. This was a problem.
But this God continued to seek him out and sent him another dream with the exact same message: Jesus is the Son of God and the way to eternal life.
This is one man’s story of obedience, sacrifice and incredible faith. It’s a story woven into the tapestry of one unsuspecting woman’s life—a story being told again and again throughout the Middle East.
Led by God
Lindsay first came to the Middle East in 2014 to celebrate her 40th birthday. While exploring Abu Dhabi, she fell in love with the thrill of adventure, the exotic cuisine and the sights surrounding her. But mostly, she fell in love with the people of the country.
She was dining in a hotel restaurant and chatting with a local one night when a sign advertising a hospital caught her eye. It was this hospital, with its American name and its need for nurses, that changed the course of her life forever.
Lindsay called the hospital on a whim and set up an interview. Before she left the country a few days later, she had a job offer in hand and the next unpredictable chapter of her life beginning to take shape.
When she arrived back in the Middle East, Lindsay immersed herself in her new life abroad. She made friends and dove headfirst into her position as a nurse in Abu Dhabi. While moving to a distant country and starting over seemed to be the most exciting part of her transition, it was the hospital patient who sought her out who truly made the greatest impact on her.
In His Dreams
One day, a strange man approached Lindsay. Speaking through a translator, he insisted he needed to speak to her alone. He was stubbornly persistent—desperate, even. He needed to speak with Lindsay alone. He could count on one hand how many English words he knew, but he assured the translator he would use his phone’s app to interpret. He urgently repeated his request for a private conversation.
She hesitantly agreed to speak to him alone, and the pair made their way to a side room. Once alone in the room, the man’s fingers flew over his phone intently. Translated from his native Arabic to English, Lindsay nervously read the words on the screen: Are you a Christian?
Lindsay had a difficult decision to make. At this government-run hospital in Abu Dhabi, she could be fired and deported for even having this conversation. She didn’t know this man or his intentions. She didn’t even speak his language. All she had at that point was the faith-filled courage to answer him honestly and pray for God’s protection.
“I told him I was a Christian, and he began saying over and over that he wanted to become a Christian, too,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay quickly called in some Christian coworkers, including an Arabic-speaker. With their help, she learned the man had been dreaming dreams—strange ones that had driven him to seek out the first westerner he could find, assuming she would be a Christian. Through her coworkers, the man was quickly connected to a local church and began attending services.
Within a few weeks, he was even inviting his friends to attend.
There are so many astounding parts to this story. So many questions left unanswered. How did this man know it was truly God pointing him to Jesus Christ? Why did he single out Lindsay? Why did God choose Lindsay to be this messenger of the Gospel to a complete stranger? A stranger whose story could have caused a lot of trouble for them both?
There are lots of questions, but maybe there are lots of intrinsic answers there, too. Maybe the truth is that God’s presence in this man’s dream was so holy and undeniable, there was no room left for doubt or questions. Maybe the hope of Jesus was even bigger than the familial and social repercussions he would face by turning to Christ. Most of all, maybe Lindsay wasn’t just singled out for this one purpose. Maybe she was doing the job God calls all His followers to do, and the only special part about it was that this strange man laid eyes on her first before meeting any other Christians.
This story is one of scary obedience. Both for a man who would likely cut the ties of religion that bound him to his honor, family and community, and for a woman who could lose the whole life she had just worked hard to build in this strange land.
For Lindsay, it was worth the risk.