Missions Insider

Exclusive stories from the mission field

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.
May 28, 2020
After her first miscarriage, Tanvi Lal went for ritual washing according to Hindu custom in eastern India, and a year later she was pregnant again. In her sixth month, she miscarried again. The next time she was pregnant, she visited many temples and offered every possible sacrifice to encourage the gods to grant her a child. She carried the baby to term but suffered a high fever during delivery.
May 21, 2020
The closure of all factories in an area of Burma (Myanmar) left a local ministry’s impoverished congregation wondering how they would survive. “Our church people are very poor, hand-to-mouth people – they have nothing to eat now,” the ministry leader said. “We distributed as much as we could. But that will help them only about two weeks. After one more week, how will they survive?” Such scenarios are taking place in many places throughout a country where 24.8 percent of the people are poor and another 33 percent on the verge of dropping below the poverty line due to such unexpected shocks.
May 14, 2020
The sound of refugees clamoring over the arrival of a truck was the signal for a hungry family to come out of their tent for critical aid. Amid the coronavirus crisis, local missionaries distributing aid had to keep their minds alert even as their hearts ached. “No matter how much we wanted to hug them, we had to maintain the distance between us,” the ministry director said. “I have known them for a long time, but I have never seen them so desperate, because they know how cruel this disease is, and they are very afraid.”
May 7, 2020
Even as their own resources dwindle amid the global coronavirus crisis, local missionaries in the Philippines are taking extraordinary measures to get aid to needy people hit by the pandemic. One volunteer missionary purchased goods to be distributed to the needy, but the next day he fell ill and self-quarantined, a ministry leader said. As the symptoms of the novel coronavirus mimic those of the flu, the worker, like hundreds of thousands of people around the world, did not know if he had contracted the potentially deadly virus.
April 30, 2020
With deep belief to the tribal religion of her ancestors, a young mother in eastern India sought peace in the mother goddess who dwelled in trees. Varsha had long believed that the mother goddess dwelling in the trees, the Gram Devi, would protect and provide for her family if she performed enough rituals in the sacred grove. She found no peace in giving sacrifices of white flowers and white chickens, though, and it wasn’t long before she was in bondage to strong drink.