The Power of Big Cookies and Bold Prayers

Jolly’s Story

When we moved to Brentwood, I prayed so hard for God to give us very good neighbors. And what happened was God put us right smack in the middle of five neighbors in a cul-de-sac with another neighbor across the main street. And of these six neighbors, three were Muslims. I made some cookies and took them over to give to my neighbors and introduce myself.

A Special Invitation

I went to the front neighbors, who were from Jordan, and wished them a merry Christmas. And they wished me one back. Then, I said, “Okay, now I know where this Muslim family stands.” And we have another Muslim family from Iran and another from Yemen. So next, I went to the Iranian family. When I gave the cookies, my neighbor asked me, “Jolly, what are you doing on Christmas evening?” I said, “We are doing nothing.” Then she said, “Can you come over for Christmas dinner?” I accepted and said, “Yes!”

I helped her set the table and everything, and then she came to me and said, “Jolly, do your thing–pray.” I am thinking to myself, It is only three months that we’ve been there and that she’s observed in us that we go to church and we pray, even before a meal. When she asked me, I was just dumbfounded and so excited. I ran to my husband and said, “Hey! She has asked us to pray!” Then, he came over. He said, “Let’s all hold hands around the table and pray.” He said the blessing, and all of them said, “Amen.”

Taking The Next Step

Then one day, my neighbor comes and says, “Jolly, my daughter is having a hard time doing her homework.” So, I said I can help, and I helped the daughter. Then I thought, “Maybe the mom needs help, too.” So then I invited the mom. I said, “Would you like to learn English?” She came over and brought another Muslim friend. So, there are two ladies that I am tutoring, and I am teaching them ESL. And while I am doing that, my whole idea was, “How great they’re coming to my house to learn English! This is just the first step.”

The next step is going to be where I can pull verses from the Bible, something they are familiar with in the Quranthe Old Testament, and then maybe Psalms, or maybe Proverbs–something from there that they can relate to, and then go from there and gradually introduce God’s Word.

 Now, I know exactly why God put us in that neighborhood—in that cul-de-sac—so that we could reach out to these people and not be afraid of them.