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Poor Preschooler Needing Surgery Faces Steep Odds

A law passed last year providing health care for all people in the Philippines takes effect this month, but that will not matter to remote villagers where there are no doctors or medical facilities.

Impoverished villagers have long suffered from lack of access to health care in the Southeast Asian country.

Against this backdrop, a 4-year-old boy in Mindanao whose hernia made it too painful to play with other children didn’t realize how lucky he was.

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They Need Health Care – and Someone Who Cares

Villagers in the Philippines had waited in vain for foreign aid organizations to fulfill their promises to bring free medical clinics to treat their first-degree burns, pneumonia, respiratory infections and other ills.

Then a stranger from their own country showed up.

“He was attired in a traditional manner,” a ministry director said of the native missionary. “With blackened teeth strengthened by chewing betel nut, he smiled and disclosed that he came all the way from a tribal village together with his wife, children and grandchildren.”

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Small Business Start-Ups Transform Lives

A young Christian woman in the Philippines whose speech impediment kept her in the shadows was devastated when her baby died before his first birthday. At any church service or gathering in an undisclosed town on the island of Mindanao, Maria Dominguez stayed back in a corner. In the past year she tried recovering from the trauma of losing her child by selling snacks in her neighborhood, a native ministry leader said. “Unfortunately, she did not have enough capital to finance her business,” he said.

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Lasting Peace in Lands of Violence

A widow in the Philippines who came to faith in Christ in her 80s was just beginning to get passionate about visiting homes to share the gospel when she knocked on the door of the man who had stabbed her son.

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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.
November 4, 2021
Invited to a local missionary’s house for dinner with other Christians in Vietnam, Thuan was surprised when they were somehow warm, fun and friendly without the drinking or opium-smoking common in his village. “He had heard the gospel from the local missionary many times, but he didn’t like hearing it,” the leader of a native ministry said. Thuan could not know that accepting the dinner invitation would set him on a journey to prison.
October 28, 2021
Taiba and her two young children arrived at the office of a Middle East-based ministry exhausted, hungry and destitute after fleeing a Taliban raid on their home in Afghanistan. They have lived the nightmare that tens of thousands of other Afghan refugees are trying to avoid. Witnessing the execution of her father and the abduction of her husband, she and her children had to leave home, town and country with only the clothes on their backs.
October 21, 2021
Armed men in a European capital tied up a Druze refugee from Saudi Arabia last year and were torturing him as they recorded videos demanding his family pay 25,000 euros (US$28,900) for his release. When Khaled cried out to God, his Muslim captors told him that if he was going to pray, he should pray like a Muslim to Allah. In the midst of his ordeal, Khaled found himself in an unexpected spiritual battle.
October 14, 2021
After making a purchase at a local market stall in Africa, 15-year-old Abdoul had turned to leave when he realized he’d seen the shop owner in a dream two years before. He’d dreamt about him just after returning home from 10 years under the tutelage of a teacher of Islam. “That day when I saw the man in the boutique, I didn’t know what to say, and I returned to explain to him what I had experienced – that a Prophet had instructed me in a dream to come and see him,” he said.
October 7, 2021
All his life, Diego had seen sick people come to his house in Cuba so his mother, a traditional healer in the Santería religion, could fight illnesses with charms, amulets and sorcery. When the young medical student recently became a Christian, his mother saw God’s power in his life. She saw such divine power that she doubted her own traditional healing abilities, but a sick person was at the door asking for her help.
September 30, 2021
Family members of a woman in Laos who died earlier this year had let her waste away in poverty, refusing to care for her because of her faith. Workers for a local ministry arranged her burial, inviting villagers they had ministered to in various community and gospel outreaches.