Wise Men Still Seek Him: Good News for an Astrologer in Distress
By Elyse in South Asia
“Wise men still seek him.” Have you seen that phrase written somewhere around Christmas time? I have most often seen it on Christmas cards and country church signs. I’ve been playing those words in my mind as I think about a recent “chance” encounter with an astrologer.
Sara’s Friend in Distress
I have a friend we’ll call Sara, who has followed Jesus faithfully for the past two years. She is a ready evangelist who uses every opportunity to share God’s love with anyone she meets. She often brings sick or needy neighbors to our house or business for medical treatment and prayer. I’ve been encouraged to watch her faith and hospitality grow over several years.
Recently, she messaged me and asked if I could meet with her and a distressed friend. She didn’t give many details, but she video-called me as I tried to figure out if I could change my schedule to meet them. Instead of a poor neighbor, I was shocked to see a wealthy woman in her late thirties on the other side of the screen. “Soni” looked exhausted from crying. She could barely get the words out. But she told me she was so stressed from something terrible that had happened to her son and asked if I could come over to pray for her.
I had 45 minutes before my next meeting, so I told her I was on my way. Walking through the neighborhood, I asked Jesus to give me wisdom to help this lady.
Will Sara Bow Before Idols?
As I arrived, Sara met me outside and explained the situation. Sara works for Soni, who is an astrologer and tarot card reader.
Two days before, Sara came to work and found Soni completely distraught. Idols were arranged all over her living room, and she was doing puja (performing a worship ceremony) for all the gods. Shortly after Sara began her work, another house helper arrived with two new idols from her village to give to Soni. “If you do puja to these idols, the gods will fix your situation.” Full of gratitude, Soni called both ladies to join her for the puja.
Sara shook her head slowly and respectfully. “Ma’am, I cannot join you in the worship ceremony.”
“Why not?!” cried Soni.
“Because I follow the path of Jesus now,” replied Sara.
“All gods are the same, Sara, you know that. Now, please, just do it this once for me.”
“I worship Jesus alone. Please don’t be angry with me, but I cannot do it.”
“Tell Me About Him.”
To Sara’s surprise, Soni picked up the two idols, handed them back to her other house helper and called Sara to come and sit down. “That was a bold thing to do—to disobey me. You must have great trust in your Jesus. Tell me about Him.” Sara spent a few minutes sharing her testimony of coming to faith in Jesus. That’s when she decided to call me.
“Okay, now that you know what’s happening,” Sara whispered, “let’s go in.”
Meeting Soni in Person
I was grateful that Sara gave me some context for what was happening, but I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for what I saw. Several sticks of incense were burning along with candles and oil lamps. More than 200 idols were meticulously placed in every corner of the living room. Flowers, sweets and fruit were in front of many idols. A sweet, burning smell lingered in the air.
Soni greeted me with a half-smile. Her eyes were swollen from crying. “Thank you for coming.”
“I make my living by telling people their futures, but I didn’t see this coming.”
I asked her what was going on, and she proceeded to tell me that her son, who lives in the UK, had been robbed. He briefly left his suitcase in his Uber when someone walked up and took it right out of the trunk. He lost his passport and ID card. And even worse, he lost $3,000 and expensive merchandise owned by his company. She took my hands, looked up at me and said, “I make my living by telling people their futures, but I didn’t see this coming.”
Sharing God’s Story with Soni
She told me about Sara’s great faith in Jesus and asked me if I could share about Him with her. For 30 minutes, I shared God’s story. She listened on the edge of her seat, occasionally wiping away her tears.
At the end of our time, I said, “I know that this is a lot of new information and that perhaps it even seems overwhelming or impossible. There’s no pressure for you to believe what I’ve just told you, but what I know to be true is that Jesus is big enough to show you if He really is God or not.”
“It was no accident that you came here today.”
She looked me dead in the eye and replied, “For 48 hours, I have been performing pujas and praying to every god that I knew. I begged for a sign. Isn’t it interesting that a local priest, monk, or imam didn’t walk through my door? You did. As an answer from God, I feel compelled to listen to you. It was no accident that you came here today.”
How on Earth Could an Astrologer Leave Everything to Follow Jesus?
As I arrived home, still trying to process what I had just experienced, I asked my husband how on earth Soni would leave everything to follow Jesus. He looked back at me and said, “I mean if God used astrologers in the birth story of His Son. I don’t think saving Soni would be too difficult.” Yes and amen. May it be so.
Please pray along with us for Soni. I’ve visited her again and heard more of her story. The last time I went, her house helper (who gave her the idols) waited around until I arrived so I could pray for her, too.
Ways to Pray
Several times a week, we meet people much like Soni, though from many different spiritual and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Pray that we will have the wisdom to know which opportunities to take. It’s impossible to follow up with everyone we meet, so pray that the Spirit will make it clear who we should invest in.
- Also, pray that God will send more people to our region to help bear the burden of loving those who have never heard His name.
In the meantime, know that “wise men” are still seeking Him. And even more than that, He is still seeking after them.
- Want to hear more from Elyse? We featured her in season 2 of our Relentless Pursuit podcast. Listen to Episode 8, Missions in a Pandemic.
- Born in South Asia, Tom was expected to follow his grandfather into the Hindu priesthood. But God got hold of him and showed him a new way. Watch our video From a Forest Temple.
- Praise God for sending His Son for astrologers, idolaters and the rest of us who may tend to seek everything but Him. You know what? Jesus even came for cannibals! Read a story from Don Richardson’s classic Peace Child about a meaningful Christmas on the Kronkel.
Stories from the pursuit
Video: Devout – a Sudanese Refugee Story
It was 2018 when Hanedi’s husband, Mahdi, told her he wouldn’t be fasting during Ramadan with her that year. And that was only the beginning.
Video: Refuge – a Sudanese Refugee Story
The wars had been going on all his life, so Mahdi fled Sudan for Egypt. And he brought with him questions, questions about why people would kill one another in the name of God.
New Book: Items May Have Shifted
”Items May Have Shifted” tells the stories of missionaries who left everything and moved across the world to serve among the unreached—and then were rerouted.
Dill Pickle Soup & Ways to Pray for Displaced People
During the first months of the war in Ukraine, the Walkers hosted more than 150 people and Lisa Walker made them dill pickle soup by the gallon.