Missions Insider

Exclusive stories from the mission field

August 6, 2020
Believing he had a divine mandate to stop all efforts to lure people away from Allah and his prophet, Idris had persecuted local missionaries in Nigeria in many ways. When an area Christian donated land for a church building, he found a way to block its construction and built a mosque on the property, the leader of a local ministry leader said. “He was extremely hostile to all efforts and to our missionaries, leading to the persecution against all of our converts there,” the leader said. “Idris even promised to kill our missionaries if they would not stop reaching their communities and preaching the gospel.”
July 30, 2020
The director of a ministry based in Chile had already seen thousands of people in need, including pastors without income in churches his ministry had planted, when he learned that five people in one church were infected with the novel coronavirus. Then he received more bad news. “I was just told that a young church couple has COVID-19, and the wife in this family is six months pregnant,” he said.
July 23, 2020
For years a police officer in Vietnam had followed orders to infiltrate worship services in search of pretexts for arresting church leaders and shutting down churches. After retiring last year, the love he saw in Christ and Christians led him to put his faith in Christ – under threat of harsh punishment. As he was telling residents in one area about his new life in Christ, the village head approached him. “You must stop your testimony,” the official told him.
July 16, 2020
A year ago this month, a 72-year-old villager in Kenya known as Shaaban woke up unable to speak. A sorcerer with a reputation for causing the ruin and even deaths of many people through black magic, Shaaban was certain he was the victim of a retaliatory spell. His wife sought advice from their neighbor, who advised her to seek prayer from a native ministry’s church pastor.
July 9, 2020
A sheikh in a Middle Eastern country sent his nephew to a native ministry’s church to compile a list of names of everyone who attended worship services. Such a list would be helpful for learning the names of Muslims who might be attending Christian services, names of Christians who were formerly Muslims and names of Christians who might be trying to convert Muslims. Once known, these people could then be pressured to cease and desist their activities.
July 2, 2020
Local missionaries delivering aid to refugees in Turkey had never seen an elderly Muslim woman look anything but sullen, so they were curious when they saw her laugh as she talked with a group of Syrians in a tent camp. The Christian workers asked her, “What happened? What did they say that has made you laugh?” She told them, “They said, ‘You are always speaking so highly of these Christians, and you’re even visiting all the tents with them – what’s happened, have you become a Christian now?’”
June 25, 2020
Not long after a young woman in central Mexico left her abusive husband and their two children, she got involved with another man who beat her – and introduced her to drugs. Lorena tried to leave him, but she was addicted to the drugs only he could provide. Things got worse when she discovered she was pregnant. “She was like in a dark tunnel with no end,” a ministry worker said. “Time passed, and Lorena went deeper and deeper into drugs.”
June 18, 2020
For local missionaries in remote areas of Southeast Asia, use of social media and Zoom as solutions to COVID-19 restrictions is not always possible and can sometimes be dangerous. Ministry through social media posts in Indonesia or the Philippines can trigger hostilities from Islamic extremists or rebel militants, local ministry leaders said. “We have to communicate with social media, but that can be a very big risk and dangerous for us as ministers, because there can be many sensitive things on it,” the leader of a local ministry in Indonesia said. “This is a very hard situation.”
June 11, 2020
Food in short supply after locusts began devouring harvests in the Horn of Africa in 2019 became even more scarce when coronavirus containment measures this year put the brakes on supply channels. The rise of coronavirus cases across the region has heightened the emergency in the already locust-plagued rural areas where outreaches are concentrated, the leader of a native ministry said. “The poor and elderly people in the villages are walking to some churches, begging churches and pastors for basic foodstuffs for them, which the churches don’t have,” he said.
June 4, 2020
Before the novel coronavirus struck, a Muslim refugee accepted an invitation to come to a native ministry’s Bible study at a home in Greece. After discussion, the group leader asked the Kurdish refugee, Arman, if they could pray for him. He said yes but was shocked when those praying for him referred to Jesus Christ as God. “His eyes got big, and he spoke about this,” an assistant director of the native ministry said, recalling how Arman objected to referring to any man as God.