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Gospel Stands Up to Fierce Foes in Africa

Islamic extremist groups are a growing danger in Africa, but often the greater threat to Christians comes from Muslim relatives. In one country, a young mother who left Islam for Christ fears she and her two children will be left destitute if her husband discovers her faith.

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Prisoners in West Africa Find an Unexpected Freedom

Native missionaries in a country in West Africa did not know what to expect when they went to preach to inmates at a prison they had never visited, in a town unknown to them.

They had a plan for how to proclaim Christ in a way that would most resonate with the inmates, but some things you couldn’t plan for in the Muslim-majority country.

After a more than six-hour trip, they were stunned to be greeted by a social service officer who had witnessed their preaching in the prison closer to their ministry base.

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Zealous Muslims in Africa Find Paths to Christ

While conflicts between Muslims and Christians do break out from time to time, relations between the two groups in a north-central African country have historically been tolerant and cooperative.

So when a fervent Muslim who fanatically tried to convert Christians to Islam was offered an opportunity to translate the Bible, it seemed to him a task well suited to his education and abilities.

He welcomed the opportunity to mingle and discuss Scripture with prospective converts to Islam.

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Spiritual Warfare Waged Fiercely in Kenya

A native missionary who pastors a new church recently led an evangelistic outreach in an undisclosed village in Kenya where he met a man who appeared deeply troubled, forlorn and shunned.

He had a desperate air about him, but in time the missionary found he had charisma and an engaging laugh; why did villagers avoid him?

As they were talking one day, the man swallowed and decided to tell the pastor his secrets.

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The Forbidden Light of Christ Begins to Shine

In the countries of North Africa where only a scant few have heard the gospel, Muslims are taught that Christians worship three gods including the Virgin Mary, and they routinely hear that the Bible is riddled with major textual corruptions. While the Bible alone has been known to lead some people to faith in Christ, amid the region’s miasma of misinformation a personal connection is critical; one question leads to another, and nothing short of face-to-face answers will do. Following up with those who contact their website, native missionaries travel to different regions of the country – increasingly, with results forbidden by the surrounding society.

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When Demons Strike Terror into Souls

A Muslim woman was suffering from an illness that neither witchdoctors nor medical doctors could cure: She was convinced she was surrounded by snakes. Though nominally Muslim, Rachida was raised with voodoo belief in a prominent serpent spirit.

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Ritual Human Sacrifice Uncovered in Africa

Ben Adebayo was earning a good living cultivating human body parts from people he killed for witchdoctors who use them in potions or amulets, which in many parts of Nigeria are believed to make people invincible. “He used this to make so much money, and he became so deeply involved in killing that he destroyed more than seven girls,” a ministry leader said. With the same intent, Adebayo arranged to meet a young woman who, he was unaware, was a missionary with the locally based ministry.

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Kneeling Down Sick, Raised Up Healed

Caroline’s husband didn’t come home and beat her because he was drunk; he beat her because she was drunk. In a remote, undisclosed village in Uganda where few people could read, Bwambale Nakonde* believed that if he punished his wife enough times she might stop being an alcoholic.

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Muslim Witchdoctor Freed from Occult

Mamadou was a shaman in West Africa who made amulets and charms inscribed with verses of the Koran for people trying to ward off illness and evil forces. In the peculiar blend of Islam and tribal animism practiced in some parts of Burkina Faso, a shaman can make a decent living as a traditional “healer” providing trinkets and incantations attributed with power to keep malicious spirits and other beings at bay.

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January 27, 2022
Since a military coup plunged Burma (Myanmar) into chaos one year ago, the gospel has advanced even as violence and COVID-19 paralyzed the country. “COVID-19 killed 413 Christian ministers within four months, some of them close friends and relatives,” the leader said. “Among our missionaries, four caught COVID-19 and almost died, but they have been restored and have worked hard in soul-winning outreach.” One of the native missionaries nearly died in July, and since then he and his wife have planted a church, the leader said.
January 20, 2022
Leading Muslims to faith in Christ in Syria brings the discipleship challenge of helping them to withstand persecution, among other issues. Recently local missionaries stood with a woman whose husband and son were killed for refusing to deny Christ. “That is a hard thing,” the ministry leader said. “She says, ‘Every time I close my eyes, I see my husband and my son in front of me, how they killed them.’”
January 13, 2022
At a small nightclub in rural Peru, the blaring music was drowning out the message a local missionary was giving nearby at a three-day gospel event. Villagers asked the nightclub owner to turn the music off, and he grudgingly consented. He was further annoyed when the preacher and other Christians visited him the next day and invited him to attend that night’s evangelistic event.
January 6, 2022
A single mother in North Africa phoned native missionaries, telling them the pandemic had left her without stable income – one of hundreds of such calls of desperation that local ministries receive. “But her voice, mixed with tears and moans, said this was not her biggest problem,” the leader of the native ministry said. The leader learned the woman’s husband had abandoned her eight years ago, leaving her so destitute that four years ago she had sold one of her kidneys to pay basic living expenses.
December 30, 2021
Hala feared a dream about her feet bleeding meant she was going to fall ill. After several months as a refugee in a Middle Eastern country, the young woman from Syria had been learning about Christianity from a native missionary, and she called him after waking from the frightening dream. “When I woke up, I was afraid,” she said. “Was something bad going to happen to me?”
December 23, 2021
Arafa had been in charge of teaching Islam to women in an African country when a native missionary led the recently widowed woman to receive Christ. Her Muslim in-laws not only beat her but began a campaign in the courts to deprive her and her family of their legal property rights, the leader of a native ministry said. The relatives were especially furious as her conversion led to her nine children and four grandchildren becoming Christians.
December 16, 2021
“Because she was so desperate, she wanted to commit suicide by drinking insecticide,” a ministry leader said of a schoolteacher in Vietnam. She had a handsome young husband, was raising two young children and was in so much pain that she wanted to kill herself. “When holding the bottle of insecticide intending to drink it,” the leader said, “her two children were holding her and hugging her and crying.”
December 9, 2021
The pastor of a native ministry’s church in Kenya was returning home from a visit with troubled villagers in the dark of night when four young men stopped him. He was known as the one people went to when they had any problem, but the four robbers who stopped him saw him only as a lone target in the dark. “Four young men ambushed him and wanted to rob him, but after one recognized him, he stopped the other three,” the director said.
December 2, 2021
Pei, a widow in Laos, was secretly discipled at a local missionary’s church for five months before she developed the strength of faith to tell her daughter and son-in-law about her conversion. “After saying only a few words about Jesus, both her daughter and son-in-law immediately began to violently criticize her,” the local ministry leader said.
November 25, 2021
A Christian ministry in Greece helped a traumatized refugee mother from the Middle East obtain an appointment with a psychologist, but she also wanted to speak woman-to-woman with one of the ministry’s two directors. The refugee had left her four children, ages 4 to 13, behind. “She left her country running, trying to rescue herself,” the director said. “Her kids didn’t blame her.”
November 18, 2021
The pope’s historic visit to Iraq in March presented massive security challenges, with all military and civil security forces taking stringent measures. Soldiers at checkpoints were instructed to seize the cargo of any transport vehicle, and before one major papal event they confiscated local missionaries’ carload of 1,000 Bibles. “The strange thing is that we met several people while walking in the streets carrying the same Bibles that we distribute, and when we asked them, they said that they got them from the checkpoint,” a ministry leader said.
November 11, 2021
“We have had to see people die and go with the Lord, including local missionaries from our ministry, and we’ve comforted many loved ones,” the leader of a ministry based in Colombia said. Christian workers in Colombia and other parts of Latin America have become soldiers in the fight against COVID-19, with some dying in the effort to save others physically and spiritually. “We thank God that up to now He has helped and supported us in everything,” the leader said, “despite difficult circumstances and harsh experiences.”