Missions Insider

Exclusive stories from the mission field

November 26, 2020
After losing his mother and brother in the battle to liberate Mosul, Iraq from Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists, Sami Hussein fled with his family to a camp for displaced persons near Erbil. Enduring cold winters and rampant disease in a camp for Internally Displaced People, Hussein found low-paying work in an outlying village. It was while working in the village that he contracted the coronavirus. He isolated himself from his family by sleeping inside a bag on the desert floor next to his family’s tent.
November 19, 2020
Local missionaries in Greece tried to protect the head and tongue of a Kurdish refugee who was suffering a major epileptic seizure in their offices. The ministry leader and others were praying for him. “He speaks Kurdish, so he wasn’t able to understand the language we were praying in, even if he could hear us,” the leader said. “After he fully came to his senses, he looked at us and asked, ‘What was the prayer you were praying? I was in peace while you were praying.’”
November 12, 2020
A pit viper bite, rather than a pandemic, was what concerned the parents of a snake-stricken girl in central Colombia. The teenage daughter of local missionaries was bitten by the poisonous snake in a jungle village so remote that access to medical care would take days. “Her parents prayed for her, and they had full confidence that God was almighty to stop and expel that poison from their daughter, and that she would not die,” the leader of the native ministry said.
November 5, 2020
A local ministry leader visiting a fatherless refugee family from a predominantly Muslim country in the Middle East was not used to the displaced declining aid – but he was joyful when they did. One of the single mother’s three daughters had accepted such aid for weeks, but when she had first made contact with the church that the ministry leader pastors, she was looking not for aid but for truth. She shared how her family had fled their home to avoid being killed but found themselves vulnerable in their host country to employers who tried to exploit and abuse them.
October 29, 2020
COVID-19 has not been as lethal for Africa as international aid organizations predicted, but the resulting economic paralysis has left many poor people starving. Day-laborers, petty traders and others have been hit hard by shutdowns, and it is among these people that local missionaries most often live and work. “It breaks my heart to see people thin, hungry and starving, and children crying on cold nights,” the director of a ministry based in Kenya said.
October 22, 2020
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, highway patrolmen at a checkpoint in the Philippines stopped a local ministry leader and three co-workers as they traveled together. On their way to another province to proclaim Christ and plant churches, the local missionaries waited for the uniformed officers to let them continue on. “I told them not to delay us because we were on a mission trip journey, but they just ignored what I said,” the ministry leader said. “I told them, ‘Since we cannot reach our destination, I want to share with you the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ.’”
October 15, 2020
Burma (Myanmar) saw a dramatic upswing in COVID-19 cases in September, and the ensuing lockdowns further hammered the poor and the local missionaries serving them – even as workers were bringing more people to faith in Christ. A native ministry leader said COVID-19 restrictions have blocked villagers from going to rivers to fish or forests to find bamboo and wood. “The situation now looks darker,” he said. “People are in great fear for the days ahead.”
October 8, 2020
Abandoned by his parents, a boy in rural Paraguay had not yet hit his teenage years when he began seeing how theft made him feel self-sufficient and tough. With his mother living elsewhere and his father focused only on drinking, he had taken shelter with his grandparents. The approval he won from his hooligan friends helped make up for the parental affection he lacked.
October 1, 2020
Syria is an economic disaster after nine years of civil war and the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the crisis has hobbled a native ministry as well – even as workers have seen more people come to Christ. Economic chaos amid the pandemic has forced a native ministry to scale back its number of local missionaries while ratcheting up the intensity of its crisis response. “As we are able, our leaders continue to distribute food and clothing to those that lack,” the ministry leader said. “Our target criteria: any person that is in need.”
September 24, 2020
Filled with sorrow that his wife had left him, a young man in Laos was walking through Buddhist temple grounds when he felt something like a small bird hit him in the chest. A strange strength came over him, and relatives said that later he became violent and unable to communicate coherently. His parents and other villagers were unable to calm or communicate with him; they built a cage and locked him inside.
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