1500 Attend Funeral of Native Missionary’s Son
May 18, 2011
Hundreds Respond With Joy and Tears as They Hear, for the First Time, that Jesus Christ has Defeated Death
by Rae Burnett
Indigenous ministry leader preaches Christ to funeral audience. (identity protected as security precaution)
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
This was the text preached by an indigenous ministry leader* at the funeral of Jean-Batiste, 21 year old son of Suleman Absoma, ministry leader of Christian Aid-supported Lord of the Harvest Ministries in Senegal.
Jean-Batiste was preparing to become a doctor and eventually assume leadership of the ministry. The day after Christmas, he and a missionary team were readying the boat given through Christian Aid for ministry to previously unreached remote areas. Jean-Batiste was swept in by a strong river current, and he drowned.
Pausing from his effective and rapidly expanding ministry to unreached tribes, Suleman, his family, and ministry workers mourned the loss of his son at a funeral intended to glorify Christ and demonstrate the assurance of eternal life to Muslim neighbors and friends.
But even Suleman was stunned when 1500 people came for the service. Most were unbelievers, among them many political and religious leaders including several imams.
Christian Aid provided emergency funds for the funeral and sent the ministry leader* of Life Missions Africa and field staff worker for Christian Aid, to give the message. A trusted friend and advisor to Suleman, the leader* led him to the Lord 20 years earlier.
“Mohammed never defeated death,” was repeated many times, as Muslims who had never heard the gospel before were astounded at this powerful message from Hebrews. Many in the crowd wept. Several requested Bibles. Some gave their lives to Christ. Others are coming still, days after, with questions for follow-up.
Before Christian Aid began helping Suleman, he labored for 15 years to share the message of Christ with seven Muslim tribes. The son of a revered imam, Suleman was in line to inherit his father’s position before the Lord intervened in his life. Because of his background, Suleman is invited to speak at Islamic festivals where thousands come to celebrate. At these festivals, he boldly shares the gospel.
Suleman also operates a clinic to meet the desperate need for medical care among the poor villagers he reaches with the gospel. Every patient who enters the clinic hears the message of Christ.
This photo was taken a year before the accident. Jean Batiste is second from the right in purple shirt.
In 2008, Christian Aid provided Suleman with the means to open a School of Discipleship. Here, Suleman communicates the life of Christ to all students through the message of the Cross, and helps students discover their calling and spiritual gifts. In 2009, the first batch of students graduated and began effectively evangelizing lost tribes and planting churches.
Every year, churches and cell groups are born and grow as a result of LHM’s various outreaches, especially the discipling of converts.
LMH needs Bibles $10, regular support for missionaries and field work, and support for trainees in the Discipleship Training School ($50/month).
Thank you so much for your support of native African ministries.
*identity protected as security precaution