Accountants take break from work to evangelize couple in prayer garden
When Chad Davenport, a senior accountant in Southwestern Seminary’s business office, noticed a Muslim couple sitting in the prayer garden outside his office, he asked his supervisor, Crystal Tucker, if he and a fellow employee could go speak to them. In Tucker’s words, “Obviously, the answer was ‘yes.’”
Davenport went with fellow accountant Rob Bourcier to the koi pond, where the couple was seated on a bench. They welcomed the couple to the campus, who said they were there simply because they enjoy the beautiful scenery, despite knowing nothing about the institution. The accountants explained that Southwestern is a Baptist seminary, and the area in which they were sitting is a prayer garden for students and campus visitors. They then asked if they could speak with the couple, and the couple readily agreed.
Bourcier began the discussion by appealing to the Pentateuch, reasoning that, as Christians engaging Muslims, “we have in common at least Abraham.” The couple had difficulty accepting the triune nature of God, so Bourcier related the creation account, wherein God says, “Let Us make man in Our image…” (Genesis 1:26). He and Davenport proceeded to explain the plurality of God and the different functions of the three members of the Trinity. The man, Haider, said in response that the concept of the Trinity finally “clicked” for him.
The discussion then turned to Jesus, whom Haider said was saved from death on the cross; in other words, He did not rise from the dead, and He is nothing more than a prophet. In addressing these false ideas, the accountants shared the Gospel via Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, and Ephesians 2:8-9. “All religion is man trying to work himself to God, but in the Gospel, [we see] God coming to man,” Bourcier explained. “And that’s the difference we’re sharing here today—that God stepped out of heaven for us.”
Davenport told the couple that “it all comes down to who Jesus is” and appealed to C.S. Lewis’ trilemma—that Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or Lord. “Jesus could not be just a good prophet because He claimed to be God,” Davenport explained. “He was either telling the truth and, if so, must be Lord of all, or He was lying or delusional.”
Haider responded cordially to the Gospel presentation, stating that they believed essentially 90 percent the same. Davenport responded, “But it is the 10 percent that makes all the difference in eternity.” Though Haider said they could live in peace because of the 90 percent commonality—to which Davenport said, “Absolutely”—Davenport added that he “will not stop trying to convince you of the other 10 percent.”
The Muslim couple then asked if they could pray for the Southwesterners. They agreed, and after the couple prayed for them in Arabic, the Southwesterners prayed for the couple as well—that God would reveal Himself to them and that the Holy Spirit would open their eyes to the truth about who God is.
Davenport and Bourcier invited the couple to chapel and lunch later that day, Oct. 19, and they hope to see them again in the near future. As they returned to their office following this fruitful conversation, Bourcier says he and Davenport were “on cloud nine.”
Tucker, who prayed for the accountants throughout their encounter, says this evangelistic fervor displayed by her employees “really shows the heart of God’s people in this place.” She continues, “These guys aren’t ‘professional evangelists’ or trying to get course credit for witnessing. They are simple accountants heeding the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share the love of Christ with strangers. I am so proud of their obedience and willingness to do this and hope that I too will have the same courage when given the opportunity.”
Chair of Fire Matt Queen adds, “I’m not altogether sure that those who have passed from this world to the presence of the Savior can see what we are doing down here; but if they can, I know [Former Southwestern President L.R.] Scarborough is smiling from ear to ear.”
Beyond commending the accountants for their efforts, Queen invites the Southwestern family to pray for this Muslim couple, “that they continue to be engaged in conversations by our students, faculty and staff who will evangelize them so they will despise the lie they currently believe and trust in the Savior who died for them.”