On a 7 hour flight, Allah planned that I sit next to a Christian missionary from South Korea, so we started chatting and took the opportunity to learn about each other’s work and the challenges we go through. Here is a summary of my observations and my thoughts between brackets:
1- He left his world job behind to dedicate himself to Jesus, and he seemed so sincere by making that choice (Knowing how to read facial expressions and body language is important to read people)
2- Despite preaching for many years, he did not know much about Christianity beyond the basics, but he preached from a script that he was taught, and that script was successful most of the time! (That’s the importance of Daawa training!)
3- They focus on small towns, because people are more accepting. (How many years have I been saying this? We tend to focus on big cities where people have higher resistance to religion.)
4- The concept of backing up every belief by evidence from the bible doesn’t exist. He mostly quotes historic Christian clergy, and when I countered those beliefs from the bible itself, he paused and got confused. (It made me feel blessed of how we learned to back everything up with evidence from Quran & Sunnah, which we take for granted)
5- He has an airline pass where he could travel for free as many times, and his cost of living is fully paid by missionary organizations (makes me wonder where are the wealthy Muslims and our airlines to cover the callers to Allah, and why there isn’t a single organization doing that!).
6- He has never met someone who is knowledgeable about Islam, so he was thrilled as he has a curious mind to learn about the truth (Sometimes we refrain from giving Daawa to clergymen or religious people from other religions thinking they are the last people who want to learn about Islam. It is usually the opposite!)
Overall, he was very respectful and he cared so much about the problems of our world, that I found we agree on about 80% of things we spoke about! (declining morality, justice, atheism, poverty, modesty, etc) It is only that 20% which makes all the difference, but we can only learn by talking to each other respectfully and exchanging contrasting thoughts, so I pray that Allah guides him and other honest clergymen!