One Student’s Influence: Part One

SES Real Stories #28

The following story is part 1 in a 3-part series about the humble influence of one SES student on his peers.

Below, a Canadian man shares his journey to a deeper, more real faith.

Victor and Sule worked together at a call center in Toronto in the early 2000s. Victor remembers Sule as “quiet and rugged.”

One day, Sule—a Jamaican with a rebellious past—did something that surprised him.

“He starts talking about God,” Victor said, “and I was like, ‘What is happening right now?’ You just don’t approach people about God in a call center when people already don’t want to be there.”

Sule was about to finish Bible college at the time, but Victor said he didn’t talk about “typical, ‘God will heal you’ type stuff.”

“It was just so intriguing,” Victor said. “He was actually speaking about God as if he knew God.

“I was like, ‘You’re not just repeating Bible verses. You’re talking to me as if you’re in love with your Savior.’”

Victor grew up in a Christian home, going to Sunday school, but with one side of his family Hindu, he also attended a lot of Hindu functions.

“All my friends are either atheists, Muslims or Hindu.”

Despite his diverse friend group, Victor’s faith was never really tested. It wasn’t growing much, either.

“I knew all the verses, I knew the songs. I do believe I was saved, but seeking God and wanting to know more … that started to change when I met Sule.”

The two became friends, but lost touch for 10 years sometime after Victor attended Sule’s graduation from Bible college. Victor eventually looked him up on Facebook and saw he’s a pastor in a city close to where Victor’s mother lives.

He showed up at the church one day, heard Sule preach a great sermon and met him afterwards. They picked up right where they left off and went out to lunch.

“That’s where my journey into theology and apologetics took off,” Victor recalls.

In the time the friends had gone their separate ways, Sule discovered Southern Evangelical Seminary where he’s now working toward his doctorate.

Read Sule’s story from defiant teen to passionate pastor.

Since the two reconnected, Victor said, Sule has “really challenged my faith. This is where the apologetics stuff comes in. He basically tore down what I believed.”

But in a good way.

Sule helped Victor see that Christians and Muslims don’t serve the same God. He answered Victor’s questions about the Trinity and asked Victor why he believes what he believes.

The friends took a Bible course together, which broke down everything Victor thought he knew.

“That course changed everything for me,” Victor said.

Sule’s church also offered apologetics courses, which Victor took full advantage of.

“I have always prayed for the courage to be able to witness to people, and Pastor Sule has enabled me to do that with more ease. If someone is going to ask me something, I’m confident to answer in love but also answer with some sort of logic behind it, not just, ‘Believe me because I’m telling you.’”

Victor’s job is to enforce Canada’s border security, and he regularly has conversations with non-Christians at work. He recently brought some people together for a Zoom Bible study he and Sule lead. It was a chance for anyone to ask faith questions.

One person asked about homosexuality, which Victor said Sule answered “with so much grace and backed it up with Scripture.”

“There are two things that I’ve learned from Sule: to read your Bible in context and not cherry-pick … and to use Scripture to get your point across.”

Sule’s influence extends beyond Victor’s friendship—to Victor’s wife, mother and in-laws.

Victor’s wife is a Christian who comes from a Muslim background.

“Her spiritual maturity has grown leaps and bounds since meeting Pastor Sule,” Victor shared.

The two of them often run their spiritual questions by Sule. At the same time, Victor and his wife are more assured in answering some of the hard questions themselves.

“Being able to articulate and defend the faith with love and logic has been a game-changer for me,” Victor said.

In his office environment, there are “a lot of grumpy people walking around,” and Victor is finding it easier to talk to them about God.

Some approach Victor with their own questions.

Extend the Reach of Apologetics

Victor, left, stands with Sule, his friend and pastor.
 
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