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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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May 19, 2022
Local missionaries in Europe are counseling and praying with refugees from Ukraine traumatized by the invasion of their homeland. Besides needing food and other aid, many refugees have suffered the shocks of bombing and artillery fire since Russia invaded in late February. “Pray for their mothers and grandmothers who suffer because they have lost their loved ones, or have their children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters or fathers in the war,” the leader of a local ministry said.
May 12, 2022
Like most refugees from Afghanistan, Gayana lived in a broken, drafty apartment with no means to keep out the winter cold. To keep herself and her small daughter warm, she had taken the last Bibles and other free Christian literature from a stand outside a church in the Middle East with the intention of burning them in her potbelly stove. “My house was cold, and my little girl was cold,” she said. “In the evening, I took the wood and tore off the Bible pages and threw them into the stove, and they started to burn.”
May 5, 2022
Kamal had been raised to become a mosque leader in such a strict Islamic home that his religiosity alienated even other Muslims. But since seeing an online ad stating, “God loves you,” he had been reading the Bible on the internet. The university student was in crisis.
April 28, 2022
Two Christian women told a visiting leader of a native ministry in Vietnam that when they lay in bed at night, they suffered deep dread as they felt the devil’s power – a sensation of cold going from their feet to their heads, cold sweats and uncontrollable shaking. In a country where some tribal people walk on burning coals to demonstrate the power of supernatural evil, the women were desperate for deliverance from demonic attacks. “Please pray for us,” one of the women said. “We don’t know what this is.”
April 21, 2022
In the five years that local missionaries provided aid to Syrian refugees, Zainab often asked why Christians would bother to help Muslims. In his discussions with them in a Middle Eastern country, the Muslim recently insisted the Bible was corrupted by changes over the centuries – but then he had a dream that both excited and horrified him. Having experienced Christ’s love from the local workers, Zainab was eager to tell the ministry leader about the dream.
April 14, 2022
In war-ravaged Burma (Myanmar), violence and the pandemic complicate local ministry efforts at a time when they are most needed. A worker recently told a ministry leader that local missionaries and their families had to flee their homes. “He told me that he was one of three pastors who fled with their families to the forest and stayed at a cave, trying to run to a village where they could stay temporarily,” the leader said. “His son, who was 19 years old, was killed by the terrorists.”
April 7, 2022
Infection from COVID-19 is just one risk local missionaries in Latin America face as they serve the unreached and needy. While the pandemic has increased resistance as villagers fear workers from nearby areas could bring infection, spiritual warfare and persecution are prevalent and gunfire paralyzes some towns. “Armed conflicts in the towns are a problem for the mobility and security of our missionaries,” a ministry leader in Mexico said.
March 31, 2022
Ahmed was so heavy-hearted and sullen you could see it on his face the moment you looked at him, according to the leader of the local ministry offering the program. What you couldn’t see was that, as he was receiving vocational training in North Africa, Ahmed was carrying a lethal weapon. During a time set aside for a spiritual message at the training, Ahmed heard preaching that led to him revealing why he was carrying the weapon.
March 24, 2022
Emotionally shattered while recovering at a local ministry’s care center in southern Spain, Natasha prayed after losing the life she’d had in Ukraine’s second largest city. Leaving her husband behind to defend against the Russian invasion, she and her son had walked most of the nearly 700 miles from their home in Kharkiv to the border, and from there had made it to Spain. “When they left their city, they were only carrying what they were wearing and a backpack each, so during the journey many times they thought they were going to die of the cold,” the ministry leader said.
March 17, 2022
With unemployment at 55 percent, runaway inflation and more than 60 percent of the population in need of aid, many people in Lebanon are in despair. COVID-19 and a collapsed economy are driving some Muslims to join the Islamic State, but others are finding joy in Christ. “Joy filled the faces and the hearts of those who were getting baptized as they worshiped the Lord and presented their testimonies,” the leader of a native ministry said.
March 10, 2022
“Where are you going every Sunday – have you become a Christian?” a Muslim father in the Middle East asked his teenage son. The father had noticed him leaving the house each Sunday. The boy knew that his answer would lead to punishment and possible expulsion from his home. “I knew I couldn’t deny my heavenly Father – I was aware that if I denied my heavenly Father, I would lose eternal life with Him,” he said.
March 3, 2022
Muslim villagers in West Africa saw a local missionary as someone who could bring shame on their families by steering relatives away from Islam. Others found his teaching laughable. Laughing or scorning, the villagers took a dim view of Christians and Christianity in a country where Islamic extremist violence against churches was on the rise. The brutal murder of the worker marked a turning point in the community attitude toward Christians.
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