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Alycia DeLong /Tuesday, January 24, 2023


This story is from another country, but the principles in it are transferable. In fact, the authors of this story have moved from the place where this story took place and now are based in Saskatchewan, where they are exploring how to put these same principles into practice here in Canada. God is using these simple strategies to draw people to himself all over the world. Why not here in Canada?

Danny had barely started his coffee when the man entered the café. Instantly, the atmosphere of the entire room changed: Everyone seemed to stiffen up a bit straighter and breathe with a bit more unease as they glanced inconspicuously amongst each other and the man’s towering silhouette standing in the doorway. Almost as broad as he was tall, his shadow cast over other tables as he walked down the aisle and straight to where Danny was sitting.

“Are you Danny?” the man asked gruffly. It would not have been a difficult task to identify him – Danny was the only foreigner in the café.

“Yes,” replied Danny, standing to greet the man, but still having to look upwards to make eye-contact with this giant of a human. “You must be Altan*?”

The man nodded.

“Thanks for coming to meet me. Please, sit.”

Altan made the regular sized café table and chair look like children’s furniture as he sat down. Danny could tell by his clothes that he had probably just come from work, and that it was physical work. His thick pants were stained with a collage of dirt, paint, concreate, and grease. His shirt matched but added sweat and smell to the mix. The worn-out cap on his head bore the same company emblem as his jacket and sat limply on top of his scruffy, weathered face.

For the first few minutes they sat in silence. Altan didn’t seem to be bothered by the lack of conversation, and Danny was still trying to process this hulk of a human that was sitting across from him.

“So,” began Danny, “You ordered a Bible from us a few months ago. Did you receive it?”

“Uh huh,” grunted Altan.

“Well, that’s good,” said Danny. “Have you had a chance to read any of it yet?”


“Did you look at any of the study guides with it?” Danny asked.


“Have you ever talked to anyone else in your family about thoughts or questions you have about God?” Danny asked, still trying to coax a conversation out of this guy.


It was becoming more and more apparent that Altan was not only a tower of stone on the outside, but on the inside as well. Danny was running out of ideas, so in a last-ditch effort he asked:

“We could do one of the studies together right now, if you want,” he said.

Altan took a sip from his coffee mug and set it down on the table, never breaking eye contact with Danny.


Well, this had been a complete waste of time, thought Danny, but if he’s just going to sit here anyway…

Danny pulled a Turkish Bible out of his bag.

“This is what we usually do at these kinds of meetings with people,” and began to go through the first study for him.

Danny finished up the study, set the Bible down on the table, and said, “And that’s the first one. Any questions?”

Altan stared at Danny, who had been expecting the “Nah” that was the usual response.

But Altan sat in silence, almost like he was waiting. Finally, he spoke.

“Is that it?” He asked, leaning forward in his chair.

“Uhhhh,” Danny was taken aback by his sudden interest. “Yeah, that’s it.”

Altan sat straight up in his chair and his face flushed with the sudden rush of emotion.

“This is nothing like I thought it was going to be! And it’s all in my language?!?!? I mean, I could do this! I could read this! I could even read this to all my family and friends!” he exclaimed.

“Well, that’s the general idea,” Danny says, a little weirded out by the man’s sudden change of demeanor. “What were you expecting?”

Altan told the story of his childhood in a very traditional Islamic village, and how, in his early teens, he was sent to a “Madrasa,” a strict Islamic school for boys. They had to memorize the Quran in Arabic perfectly, and one mistake would result in being hit with a rod by the imam, and other forms of punishment. After three years of memorizing the Quran over and over again, he understood nothing of it because, like the majority of the other boys there, he didn’t speak Arabic. The only god he had every been taught about was one he could never know, but on this day, with tears in his eyes, he had learned that God speaks his language and wants to talk to him, listen to him, and give him a new life.

Find out more about Discovery Bible Studies and the app we use at

*Names have been changed

Alycia DeLong and her husband, Danny, have been involved in overseas missions for over 20 years. In 2015, they moved to the Middle East, focusing on discipleship multiplication ministry in unreached areas. They were there until last August when they returned to Canada with their two children. Now both Alycia and Danny are on staff at the Regina Apostolic Church, Alycia in creative design and Danny as Pastor of Global Initiatives.



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Living and Active

On an isolated hillside surrounded by miles of forest and mountains, Murat found a large rock to sit down and take a break. He’d been trekking though the uneven terrain all day keeping a protective eye on his sheep and goats. Although there were no established roads, he and other members of his community had worn many paths throughout the area over the years. 

Murat reached into his coat pocket, pulled out his phone and raised it up in the air as high as he could looking for a service signal. Most of the other shepherds that Murat worked with were relatives: brothers, cousins, uncles, and other connections. Despite being separated for most of the days, they were a very close family. They regularly checked in with one another when they could get reception on their cell phones. In the late evenings, when all the livestock was safely returned to the stalls, they would all gather again on the homestead.

Over the past few months, though, something had changed. Murat had been doing some soul-searching and came across a website that offered access to the Bible. He signed up and began getting text messages every few days of a Bible verse from the New Testament, followed by four simple questions: What does this tell me about God? What does this tell me about mankind? How can I obey this scripture? Who can I share this scripture with?

Most of the scriptures had to do with Jesus, of whom Murat had heard of before ... but never in this way!

Why I love doing Discovery Bible Studies with my Muslim friends

We were gathered around a picnic table in a park, my friend and I, and our five hijab-wearing friends. This was their first time to ever explore the Bible and they were all enthusiastic. A few weeks later, when the weather began to grow cooler, we moved our study online (this was during Covid) – and over the course of the year these ladies kept inviting their friends!

No one in this group is a believer yet, but it’s been a wonderful doorway to some amazing heart conversations. There has been no debating – just a genuine exploration of what these Bible stories were teaching each of us personally. 

I remember the pressure I used to feel when talking to Muslim friends, and hoping I could convince them to follow Jesus. I even taught others how to engage in apologetics with Muslims. The trouble was, I found myself forgetting some of the most compelling arguments, and to be honest, I’m just not that good at it. Not only that, but I was also finding that many believers totally discounted themselves when it came to befriending Muslims. They didn’t feel qualified to engage in that arena – so they didn’t...

From Stone to Soil

Once upon a time, a seemingly uninterested man participated in a Discovery Bible Study in a cafe around the world, and then everything changed...

Wasting Seed

Anybody who has visited my house knows I like to garden. A few years ago, my husband and daughter built me a greenhouse so I can start my plants from seed. Each precious seed is carefully placed in prepared soil and carefully nurtured to grow strong before being transplanted into the garden to grow up and produce a harvest. 

Recently I’ve been rereading the Parable of the Sower (or maybe better called the Parable of the Soils) from Matthew 13. 

What is startling to me in this parable is the complete disregard of the sower for all the seed that is wasted. No gardener deliberately throws seed on the path, or amongst weeds, or on rocky ground. Seed is reserved for fertile soil.  

So why is this sower apparently happy to waste so much seed?

Prayer for the Buddhist World

Join us in praying for our Buddhist neighbours. 

A Simple Recipe for Making Disciples

When I have a bit of extra time, I enjoy cooking. I especially enjoy cooking for other people, and I particularly love trying new recipes. It’s a bit risky trying new recipes out on guests, but I do it all the time!

Some recipes are complex and take a long time—sometimes the reward is worth the effort, sometimes not. I have a recipe for Petit Fours (a fancy little dessert cake) that takes most of a day to make but is a favorite of some of my family—so worth the investment.

But some recipes surprise me with how simple and delicious they are. Try this one – watermelon chunks, lime juice, chopped fresh mint. For a summer side salad, it’s amazing.

Sometimes when we talk about disciple-making we tend to think ‘Petit Four recipe’ complexity rather than ‘Watermelon Salad recipe’ simplicity. And then we let the thought of the complexity put us off even trying to be involved in disciple-making.

What if we could simplify our ‘disciple-making recipe’ down to just a few ingredients? 

Here’s a ‘simple recipe’ for you to try out...

The World in our Canadian Neighbourhoods

An Open Door.

In 1 Corinthians 16:9 Paul writes, ‘a great door for effective work has opened to me’ referring to his plans to stay in Ephesus to respond to the opportunity there. This 12-minute 'made in Canada' video is a reminder of the opportunity that is right outside our doors amongst the growing Muslims diaspora community. Shared with permission this video offers a range of practical advice from some who are experienced in engaging this community.

Be encouraged as you watch that God is at work drawing people to himself.

And hear the challenge of this video:

Sometimes we wait for God to move—but perhaps God is waiting for us to move. 

There is an open door waiting for you. Walk through…