Darkness in Mali Pierced by the Light of the Gospel
March 18, 2013
Terrified citizens of Mali grimly look to the mountainous North, where thousands of Al-Qaeda terrorists remain, determined to outlast the French and Chadian soldiers who expelled them from several main cities. For years, these mountains have acted as a secluded training ground for Muslim extremists, armed with weaponry provided by the former Libyan leader, Muammar al-Qaddafi.
Before France´s military intervention, the cities of Gao, Kidal, and Timbuktu were invaded by the extremists, and the people subjected to the hellish application of Shariah law. Limbs were amputated. People were hauled to public squares to be whipped and beaten. Several were partially buried in the ground and stoned to death.
Hundreds of thousands have fled the country, but one man has deliberately returned. Moses Keita, once a fervent proponent of Islam, is now on a mission to share the gospel of Christ with the broken and hurting in Mali.
It was here in Mali, once considered a relatively peaceful center of Islamic learning, that Moses poured himself into the study of the Quran, quickly rising to the respected and influential level of Imam. He later confessed that, even at the pinnacle of his religion, he began to feel the shadow of disillusionment.
While on a visit to Senegal, Moses was greeted by a missionary who worked with Christian Aid-supported International Visitors Gospel Outreach. The truth of the gospel message that was shared with him that day shattered his bondage to Islam. Set free by the power of Christ, he found himself hungering to know the Word of God. For the next four years, Moses remained in Senegal, soaking in the love and discipleship offered him by the ministry.
Meanwhile, in Mali, a series of political coups had weakened the government and left the army unable to defend the country when a group of rebel Tuaregs seized the nation´s northern desert region.
A Sunni Muslim tribe of approximately 1.5 million people, the nomadic Tuaregs are a fierce people that roam the Sahara and have been fertile recruiting ground for Islamic terrorist groups. In neighboring Niger, Christian Aid-supported Life in Jesus Ministries has successfully shared the gospel with and baptized several Tuaregs.
These Tuaregs were soon forced from their stronghold by an Al Qaeda faction that began their brutal reign of terror. The climate is now one of fear and uncertainty.
Despite the horror that has unfurled in his nation while he was away, Moses, now a mature and grounded believer, has returned.
With his deep understanding of Islam, he is well-equipped to answer questions from Muslims with truth from God´s Word. He has led several to Christ, but the price has been high. Threats have been made on his life, one of which came from his own family.
- Pray for Moses´ protection and provision as he labors to share Christ in hostile territory
- Pray for open hearts among the many Muslims with whom he is sharing the gospel
- Pray that the new believers whom Moses has led to Christ will grow in biblical understanding and maturity