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Wonders Break Gospel Barriers in the Middle East

In a country in the Middle East, a young Muslim man recently passed by a local ministry’s church site and picked up a New Testament from the stack outside. “He took it home, secretly read from it and hid it, because he feared what his family might do to him,” the ministry leader said. The 22-year-old Muslim had no idea his older brother was also secretly exploring Christianity.

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The Power of Scripture Shines in Iraq

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.

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Victims of Violence in Iraq Find Healing in Christ

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.

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Families Fight to Survive in War-Ravaged Syria

Islamic State (ISIS) militants along with other jihadist groups have continued to unleash sporadic assaults in Syria, and more are expected as terrorists escape Kurdish forces trying to confront a Turkish offensive.

In a country engulfed in military carnage for eight years, native missionaries try to calm orphaned children by having them count the seconds between the sound of artillery firing and impact.

When Christian workers in one city met a family who had fled ISIS atrocities in another, they were shocked at how deeply traumatized the displaced Muslims were.

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When the Call of Allah Leads to God’s Son

An influential Shia Muslim leader in a Middle Eastern country heard Allah telling him to go to a majority-Sunni Muslim country to convert Sunnis to Shia Islam – or so he thought.

Zain was well suited to Allah’s call: Soon he had converted a number of Sunni Muslims to Shia Islam.

Somehow, God broke through to him – and his Shia converts. The native missionary who baptized them is still wondering how it all happened.

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War-Scarred Muslims Find Life in Christ

Muslims are still feeling the effects of the Islamic State’s occupation of Mosul from June 2014 to December 2017 after the terrorists killed thousands of civilians, and government forces killed thousands more – civilians fleeing ISIS who were suspected of belonging to the group. Families on both sides of the war who lost their men in the fighting are struggling.

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Secular Jewish Refugees Discover the Living God

A Jewish refugee couple from Russia was not interested in hearing more about Christ after they attended an evangelistic event in Israel, but they did accept an invitation to participate in a marriage seminar. A native ministry based in Israel offered the seminar as part of its effort to meet needs in the community.

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No Baptism Is Routine in Muslim Country

For a government official of a Muslim country to leave Islam was unthinkable. But he decided to secretly put his faith in Christ. Living near a port city, his position had earned him great status and wealth. He had the faith to attend worship services at an established church pastored by the native missionary who led him to Christ, but he didn’t risk baptism.

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Urgent Need to Seize Huge Opportunity

Suppose the Lord found plenty of workers to go into the harvest – and then, before they could bring in anywhere near the full number of the redeemed, they left. That’s the problem a native ministry leader is facing, just as a huge opportunity to bring the gospel to Muslims in Syria has opened up.

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A Muslim’s First-Hand Education in Islam

A staunch Muslim in Iraq who hated Christians had a very personal reason for wanting to learn more about Islam. Mahmod Mohammed* was happy to see the arrival of ISIS in northern Iraq in June 2014. Three months later, ISIS militants seized his home and turned it into a weapons storage site. When he tried to resist, they beat him and took his wife. He never saw her again. Because the militants had a Koranic rationale for everything they did, Mahmod resolved to learn more about Islam.

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September 29, 2022
At a Christian youth camp with distant views of snow-capped mountains in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, nearly 50 nervous children were having a hard time warming up to each other. At more than 5,200 feet above sea level, the camp center was warmer in July than during most of the year, but the kids ages 10 to 14 had arrived cold with gloom about how they were going to get through the week surrounded by strangers. “On the first day when the kids arrived, they were very closed and dissatisfied,” the leader of the native ministry said. “We began to worry a little about how we would do anything if they were so dissatisfied.”
September 22, 2022
Muslim extremists often appear in refugee camps, and word spreads that native missionaries bringing aid to the tents pray with refugees and leave Bibles for them. So workers were concerned when a grim-faced refugee camp leader summoned them to talk over tea. “Last week while distributing things to the children, you were praying, and you gave some people copies of the Bible,” he told them.
September 15, 2022
Kimbap was on her way home from work in Cambodia last summer when she saw a gang of teenage boys assaulting a younger boy. Though a lifelong Buddhist, Kimbap had been listening to a Christian radio program for several days, and when he screamed for help, she instinctively began praying to Christ. “I had very little belief that He was there for real to help this boy, because I am a Buddhist worshiper,” Kimbap said.
September 8, 2022
Burma’s internal military conflicts have curtailed ministry efforts, but the chaos also has helped expand God’s kingdom as displaced people take refuge at a Bible college and Christian camps. Among those fleeing to the jungles or to neighboring countries are young people, a native ministry leader said. “Many young people, however, remain in the country and do not know what to do with their lives,” he said. “Some young people run to Bible colleges and Christian camps.”
September 1, 2022
A ministry leader in North Africa arrived at the home of dying woman to say farewell, pray for her and, at her parents’ request, baptize her. Only after he arrived did he realize she had often attended his church, then mysteriously stopped. “She was aware that she had a few days left before she would die and had no hope for healing,” he said. “Although we didn’t know anything about the medical reports of her illness and what it was, I had a feeling that this could be an evil spirit.”
August 25, 2022
A young Iraqi girl’s grandfather died when a suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militant rammed the car carrying him. Sara later learned from a teacher at a native ministry’s school in Jordan that God loved her and her family, so she thought He must be different from the divine being her parents blamed for the loss of her grandfather. One day she was deeply missing her grandfather and crying at school, and the teacher noticed that she seemed frightened as well as sad.
August 18, 2022
A native ministry leader in Liberia and team members at times walk five to seven hours daily through jungles to bring the gospel to the lost. They must rely on God to protect them against wild beasts or hostile followers of tribal religion. “Idol worshippers sometimes threaten us, saying that if we don’t leave their village, they will kill us,” he said.
August 11, 2022
Seeking to reunite with his brother in London, a 16-year-old Bedouin shepherd boy from the Middle East was growing frustrated with questions local missionaries were posing to him. The boy started crying when they asked him to sign an application form for asylum. “He had never gone to school and didn’t know how to read or write,” one of the leaders of the ministry said. “He started crying when our interpreter explained to him what a signature meant.”
July 28, 2022
A young mother in Africa had gone to a series of traditional healers, each with their fetishes and incantations to tribal gods, in a desperate quest to heal her son. He was 3 years old and had never been able to walk. She heard about a meeting at a nearby community where villagers studied the Bible. In her sub-Saharan country unidentified due to local opposition to the gospel, both the healing and the deaths of children recently moved parents to seek Christ.
July 21, 2022
Heba was rescued before she could end her life, condemning the 32-year-old mother in northern Africa to continue in a misery whose sources she did not fully understand. An affair with a younger man blunted the pain at times but soon compounded it, further toxifying problems with her husband. “I was living a miserable life filled with sadness, failure and problems,” she said.
July 14, 2022
An 11-year-old boy in Mexico had trouble socializing, and his father was addicted to drugs, so local missionaries seeking to help him had persuaded his mother to let him live at their educational center living quarters. Workers noticed some alarming drawings in his notebook. The sketches made it clear the boy was suicidal.
July 7, 2022
A refugee from Syria told local missionaries in Iraq that he had dreamt of a group of Christians visiting his house and telling him pleasant things that he could not now recall. He said he was a Muslim officer in the Syrian army who had fled when enemy soldiers occupied his home. “I remember when I woke up, I had a wonderful peace and joy that I had never experienced before,” he told them. “Can you visit us at home?”
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