In evangelism training for Christians who were raised as Muslims, new believers from every province enjoyed fellowship as they learned how to share the Bible with Muslims. Native ministry workers also taught them ways for Christians of Muslim upbringing to meet the dangers of living in Islamic society in a way pleasing to the Lord.
Native Christian workers have multiple opportunities to share the gospel as they distribute Bibles, tend to the needs of refugees and the internally displaced and bring medical care to the poor. Workers with a native ministry’s mobile medical clinic share Christ daily with those receiving treatment, along with praying with them and providing them Bibles.
Ministering to people of varied ethnicities and religions, native Christian workers focused on one group after their ethnic religious rite. “The Lord allowed many of them to accept Christ after we delivered the gospel and Bibles to them,” the ministry leader said.
The father of a displaced family in Iraq recently told Christian workers how he loaded up 21 relatives onto a pick-up truck to flee Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in 2014. “Fadhil* suddenly saw in the mirror that his daughter, Lina*, had fallen from the vehicle, and the wheels of ISIS were not far behind them,” the native ministry leader said. “He was faced with a painful choice: Should he stop for his daughter, or continue on to save the rest of his family?” Silently agonized, Fadhil said nothing to his relatives of what he had seen.
A local ministry’s Mobile Medical Clinic treated all manner of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The workers prayed with patients, provided them Bibles and shared the gospel.
Security issues keep Christians from attending local churches in many areas, but they grow in the Lord through worship and study of God’s Word through a WhatsApp group, including questions and answers. In addition, about three times a year new Christians who wish to devote themselves to winning Muslims to Christ are trained in effective ways to communicate the gospel.
A young man in Iraq who had left Islam to follow Christ recently began teaching school in an area where children of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters were living. Kassim Mahdi* had grown up watching ISIS militants destroy buildings and lives in his hometown, the leader of a native ministry said. “He saw many of his friends and relatives killed, and he did not believe that God sent His messengers in this way,” the leader said.
For 10 years a veteran of the Iraq-Iran war wondered how he could respond to Christ for having freed him from needing a wheelchair. Years after losing use of his legs, Mustafa Abbas* was watching a Christian progam on a satellite channel in 2011 when he followed the speaker’s encouragement to pray in Christ’s name for healing, he told ministry workers in his native 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.
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.