Missions Insider

Exclusive stories from the mission field

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.
September 17, 2020
The village chief and other key community leaders near a town on Brazil’s Amazon River told a native missionary to leave. By the time other native missionaries visited the village months later, the leader of a ministry based in Brazil said, nearly every inhabitant was addicted to alcohol. “The community was taken over by the power of darkness; the spirit of suicide took over the young and old,” he said.
September 10, 2020
Local missionaries gave out food and medicines and prayed with victims immediately after the Aug. 4 explosion in the bustling Gemmayzeh neighborhood of the port of Beirut that killed at least 180 people and injured more than 6,000. Tens of thousands of people were injured or lost homes and loved ones, and the effects of the blast are expected to be felt for months, if not years. “Before the explosion, the people had nothing,” the leader of a native ministry said. “Now they have less than nothing.”
September 3, 2020
A widow in Egypt was in tears when she called a local ministry leader with word that she had lost her job as a housecleaner due to a coronavirus lockdown. She was supporting seven family members, including a daughter with two infants who was separated from her drug-addicted husband and a married son with two children who had lost his job and home due to the pandemic. “She was crying while telling us that she had to sell her kitchen appliances in order to meet some of their basic needs,” the leader said.
August 27, 2020
The year began with the death under suspicious circumstances of a local missionary. Before that, the director of a native ministry in the Philippines was stunned by the sudden death of a 43-year-old pastor he had known since childhood. In March he and his wife lost their adult daughter to cancer. The challenges of COVID-19 lay before him as he learned to press onward in faith.
August 20, 2020
The refugee family of a disabled young girl was unable to bring her wheelchair to Turkey when they fled Syria, forcing her to crawl on the ground, but her grandfather refused to let local missionaries help. Other refugees had told her family that there were people from a church who could help, but when her grandfather heard it, his face was flushed with anger. “They never help anyone without expecting something in return,” he said. “Don’t begin any type of relationship with them, because they are going to want something from you.”
August 13, 2020
Local missionaries and their families were among 1,900 families who fled their homes when heavily-armed Fulani herdsmen raided predominantly Christian villages in southern Kaduna state, Nigeria this month. The slaughter of Christian men, women and children by the Fulanis accelerated in recent weeks to unprecedented levels, with a three-day series of assaults displacing five native missionaries and their families, the leader of a native ministry said. “The killing of Christians in southern Kaduna by the Muslim killers is unprecedented,” he said. “We have lost so much again and again, and our missionaries are being pursued and lost everything.”
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.