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God Abides with Former Teacher of the Koran

Kazim Safisa was once like the young Muslim men waiting for him in front of his village home in West Africa with knives, clubs and cudgels. Returning home from a long day working his farm in Ghana, the new Christian knew the cultural dynamics behind their Islamic zeal. Not long before, Safisa had been a zealous sheikh, going village to village teaching on the Koran. He knew why they felt “infidels” like him must die.

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Gospel Workers Push through Hardship

A team of 26 native missionaries prayed that it would not rain during a recent outreach to a village in West Africa, because most of them would be sleeping in the open air. The village in central Togo had little space for visitors to spend the night. They managed to find a small shanty to rent for the women, and the others slept on the ground or on benches. No rain water fell, but later stones did rain down on some of them.

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Islam in the Light of Christ Poses Danger

A native missionary in West Africa was showing a documentary about Islamic extremist atrocities to villagers at an earthen-walled, thatched-roof home when a neighbor showed up saying the police were on their way. The native missionary, Eric*, took his equipment and left, telling the others to disperse as quickly as possible. Muslim Akposso leaders had directed the police to arrest him.

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The Gospel at God’s Speed

Coastal humidity mingling with desert heat blew in through the window of his family’s third-floor apartment as Mostafa listened to a former Muslim on his laptop screen talk about Christ. His parents and siblings were away, but the 19-year-old didn’t dare try to turn the laptop volume up when, outside, the noon call to prayer from a mosque loudspeaker drowned out the speaker on his screen.

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How to Go Where No Missionary Has Gone

More than two centuries of foreign missionary efforts in Liberia did not reach tribes in the thick jungle of the interior, with its predators and disease, and it wasn’t easy for a native ministry either. But 27 native missionaries recently got into a large canoe at 10 p.m. to paddle for nearly three hours, arriving at a village where the gospel had never been proclaimed.

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Traditional Ritual Stuns Village Patriarch

Adama had lived in his village in Burkina Faso his entire life – 90 years. Suddenly, he was banished. A 6-year-old girl had mysteriously died, and tribal leaders used a divination ritual to determine what had provoked local spirits to commit such an outrage. A shadow fell on Adama, and they accused him of employing witchcraft to bring a deadly disease on the girl.

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Animists in Kenya Find Meaning in Christ

In the midst of a long drought, the birth of a girl in western Kenya had created quite a dispute in her family about what to name her. Due to malnutrition she had been born prematurely, which among the Bukusu tribe called for the name Nambuswa.

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November 25, 2021
A Christian ministry in Greece helped a traumatized refugee mother from the Middle East obtain an appointment with a psychologist, but she also wanted to speak woman-to-woman with one of the ministry’s two directors. The refugee had left her four children, ages 4 to 13, behind. “She left her country running, trying to rescue herself,” the director said. “Her kids didn’t blame her.”
November 18, 2021
The pope’s historic visit to Iraq in March presented massive security challenges, with all military and civil security forces taking stringent measures. Soldiers at checkpoints were instructed to seize the cargo of any transport vehicle, and before one major papal event they confiscated local missionaries’ carload of 1,000 Bibles. “The strange thing is that we met several people while walking in the streets carrying the same Bibles that we distribute, and when we asked them, they said that they got them from the checkpoint,” a ministry leader said.
November 11, 2021
“We have had to see people die and go with the Lord, including local missionaries from our ministry, and we’ve comforted many loved ones,” the leader of a ministry based in Colombia said. Christian workers in Colombia and other parts of Latin America have become soldiers in the fight against COVID-19, with some dying in the effort to save others physically and spiritually. “We thank God that up to now He has helped and supported us in everything,” the leader said, “despite difficult circumstances and harsh experiences.”
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.
September 2, 2021
Weeping, a young professional woman recently called the leader of a ministry based in her country in the Middle East at 11:30 p.m. Amal Mousa* still lived with the Muslim parents who raised her, and she told the leader that her father had learned she was attending church services against his orders.
August 26, 2021
Hasan Qasim was a young, well-off businessman in a major city of Syria when police stopped him at a checkpoint five years ago. The government wanted him to rejoin the Syrian army. Qasim had completed his mandatory military service 11 years before. “They pushed me to fight again,” Qasim said. “And I didn’t want to fight.”
August 12, 2021
Hungover from another night of drinking, a father of five in Brazil recalled that his wife had fled the previous night, figuring she had better chances of survival among wild animals in the jungle than at home with him.
August 5, 2021
A 30-year-old Kurdish woman was one of 6,000 Yazidis seized when ISIS militants invaded Iraq in 2014. Yazidi religion being especially despised by Muslim extremists, over the next three years she was sold to fighters of different factions who raped her and her daughters. When she was freed, her parents did not recognize her.
July 29, 2021
A 100-year-old church leader has long attended a local ministry’s training seminars, where he has encouraged others with his faithfulness in the face of persecution. “He has endured so much in his walk with the Lord, to the point that he was imprisoned eight times for his faith,” the native ministry leader said.
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