A country in the heart of sub-Saharan Africa may have a population that is 30 percent evangelical Christian, but local missionaries are going to areas where assassination, witchcraft and persecution prevail.
Islamic extremist groups are a growing danger in Africa, but commonly the greater threat to Christians comes from Muslim relatives. In the country (unnamed for security reasons) where most people identify as Christian, a young mother who left Islam for Christ has been able to discreetly participate in small groups and other church activities only because her husband lives and works in another country.
“We are afraid that the day he finds out his wife has become a Christian, it will be a big problem, because in Muslim culture and belief, when a woman leaves Islam and mixes with Christianity directly, she is necessarily divorced,” the leader of a local ministry said.
She lives in a village with a large Muslim population, he said. Receiving Christ after local missionaries visited her home and shared the gospel, the mother of two children has a good reputation as one who is eager to help others, he said.
“Her life is being transformed day by day in a spiritual way,” the leader said. “Please pray for her and her children, as she loves to pray but is also afraid of her husband divorcing her. When I last saw her, though, she told me it’s better to leave her husband instead of giving up her faith in Christ. What faith!”
Muslim women whose husbands divorce them for leaving Islam are commonly left destitute. The leader said that if funding permits, the ministry would provide her with a small amount of capital to enable her to start a small business.
In another area that rough terrain makes difficult to access, social access is also problematic; villagers will not listen to any visitor who declines to drink the local highly alcoholic beverage, the ministry leader said.
“Sometimes that is a big trap to face,” he said. “It is an environment where 60 percent of the population believe in witchcraft, and the majority practice witchcraft. But by the grace of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of mercy, we managed to plant a church there.”
Witchdoctors who put their faith in Christ gave up their satanic practices. Initially meeting under a tree, the church now worships in a tent and is gradually seeing the community transformed as many people give up alcohol, the leader said.
“There have been healings among the sick,” he said. “One day I visited our church members as usual and met a family of six who were seriously ill. They didn’t have the money to come to the health center, and they all had the same symptoms of malaria. After praying, I gave them some money so that they would be able to go to the health center for treatment.”
Everyone in the family recovered, a strong testimony to the community, he said.
“Today almost the entire community comes to our Sunday service to praise and worship God in His greatness,” the leader said. “Because of the multitudes of Christian Aid Mission supporters, the people praise God regularly.”
Besides the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions, local missionaries have also seen recent heavy rains and flooding destroy church buildings and homes.
“We have lost our family members and brothers and sisters in Christ,” the ministry leader said. “Although we have been through many challenges, we have seen Jesus Christ work during our evangelistic ministry.”
Workers have seen God’s hand in home visits and Bible distribution, as well as in sports programs organized for youths. Small prayer cells and Bible training in homes help new believers grow and introduce seekers to Christ.
“As a result of this prayer cell strategy, even Muslims who are afraid to join our Christian faith publicly prefer to be part of those cells to be taught the Word of God without compromise,” the leader said. “Sometimes we baptize them at night.”
As a result of the ministry’s various outreaches, 96 people put their faith in Christ over a six-month stretch, he said.
“We had a great opportunity to share the gospel with many people,” he said. “More than 13 new believers were baptized, and 27 church leaders were trained on how to bring the gospel to lost people, including Muslims.”
Local missionaries with another ministry in the same country carry out similar outreaches, and likewise their discipleship training includes helping new believers share their testimonies.
Workers came across a former rebel militant who said he had assassinated politicians of various political parties. He confessed this after hearing the gospel, putting his faith in Christ and vowing to stop killing, the leader of the local ministry said.
“He said he has never heard the word of repentance like what we were preaching that time,” the leader said. “He repented, and he will be baptized. So because of what God is doing for this man, his family has followed him; they are all coming for worship. We thank God for that, please pray for him and his family.”
Workers are leading people from all walks of life to eternal life in Christ in Africa. Please consider a donation today to equip them for the task.