Mrs. Q, a joyful woman of faith from a Muslim background who blessed many people throughout her long life, entered the presence of the Lord on December 21, 2012. She and her husband lived out their faith in the most difficult of circumstances. This memorial of Mrs. Q comes from TEAM's Dave Davis, who knew the Q family well.
Mrs. Q’s faith story began in a dusty village in South Asia. A short time after Mr. Q’s first wife died, he married the young Mrs. Q. They were both Muslim, but Mr. Q came to Christ soon after they married. Mr. Q’s faith journey started in 1936 when a worker named Willie visited his village. Willie had the gas cap of his vehicle stolen by scoundrels who thought it was a fun thing to do to the “white man”. Mr. Q felt bad about it, so he went and found the gas cap, rode his bicycle for seven miles to where the worker was camped, and returned the gas cap. The worker served him tea and biscuits and offered him a New Testament as a thank you.
Mr. Q was a Hafiz – one who has memorized the whole Qur’an. Mr. Q saw Jesus in the Qur’an as he read it, so he began reading the New Testament to find out more about Jesus. He found that it rang true to him. Mr. Q took a bus to visit a worker named Bill, and they talked together, after which Mr. Q put his faith in Jesus. After several days of reading, praying, and learning with Bill, Mr. Q asked him, “Now what should I do?” Bill told him to go home and live his faith. Mr. Q did. He told Mrs. Q that he had become a follower of Isa (Jesus). He (a man) asked her (a woman) to forgive him for how he had mistreated her in their marriage, something that is never done in their culture. Mrs. Q was flabbergasted and thought, “I know you want something – so I’m just going to watch…”. She assumed he was softening her up so he could take another wife. She carefully watched Mr. Q’s words and actions and noticed a remarkable change. Mr. Q was no longer angry or abusive. He no longer beat her. She saw such a difference in her husband that she told him, “I want what you have.” So they traveled by bus back to talk with Bill, and she too put her faith in Jesus.
In the early years, their faith was tested many times, including when the village people thought that some official village pressure would cause Mr. and Mrs. Q to recant. They joined forces and boycotted all of Mr. Q's family. The peak of that initial persecution came when they were forbidden to visit and draw water from the village well.
In rural South Asian cultures, the well is the social center of the village. It is a twice-daily task to go and get water for family needs. In the veiled society of Islam, the social contact at the well is vital for survival. Women gather there to get the latest gossip and to have contact with their female neighbors. Mrs. Q's family was now without water, and more importantly, they were cut off socially from the entire village. This was the ultimate boycott and a strong signal that the villagers did not like what the family was doing. Mrs. Q now had to go almost two miles for all their water for drinking, bathing, and cooking.
Mrs. Q and the family endured that hardship stoically. Over a period of months, the Christian community raised money and helped Mr. Q hand‑dig a well and install a hand pump within the family courtyard. Now Mrs. Q no longer needed to go so far for water.
What happened next comes only from the providence of God. The well used by the villagers dried up, and now, there was only one well in the village – Mr. Q’s. When the women came to Mrs. Q to ask about getting water from their well, she opened her courtyard door and told the villagers, "As long as we have water in our well, you are welcome to it." The villagers could not understand why Mrs. and Mr. Q, against whom they had acted, would turn around and be kind to them. Mrs. and Mr. Q told them, “the only reason is that God changed our hearts” by removing all the grudges they had against the villagers.
Mrs. Q lived as a believer among Muslims in their village and later in a big city for several decades. One by one over the years, her children, one son and five girls, have come to know Christ personally. Mrs. Q was blind in the end, but still had a wonderful laugh and eyes of faith in the Lord. She is now in her eternal reward.
-Written by Dave Davis, TEAM Placement Coordinator
-Photos provided by Dave Davis