The family of a man in northern Africa dying of liver disease had already planned his funeral when a native Christian worker went to pray for him.
“His liver had nearly stopped working, and the hospital doctors were expecting him to die at any time,” the leader of a native ministry said. “Our worker went by faith and lay hands on him and prayed fervently, asking God to be honored and glorified in his life.”
The patient’s vital signs began to improve, and he was removed from the area for those in a coma to another room.
“After 11 days, he was discharged from the hospital, completely healed,” the leader said. “His family, relatives and neighbors were completely amazed and astonished. They later invited the worker to tell them more about his faith, and during the visit, 35 of the relatives gave their lives to Jesus.”
A few days later, a sheikh (Islamic teacher) with a lame leg asked the worker to come and pray for him.
“God did a miracle, and he was healed, and he also gave his life to Jesus,” the leader said. “Many people became very interested to hear about Jesus, but the village elders became very disturbed and wanted to stop the worker from coming to visit the village.”
The elders held an emergency meeting to discuss the matter. A member of the elders committee stood up and defended the worker, saying he had been doing much good for the community, the leader said. The elders ended up granting the worker complete freedom to visit and preach the gospel, he said.
“The worker is continuing to visit, and so far more than 200 Muslims have come to faith,” the leader said. “His church has been closed by the authorities, but God is opening many doors for him to visit people and preach the gospel in many different villages.”
In spite of church closures, surveillance and arrests in the country undisclosed for security reasons, ministry workers planted 10 house churches and several cell groups over a six-month period last year, the leader said.
Discipleship is paramount amid opposition. Among other means of strengthening faith, the ministry trains women in income-generating skills such as sewing, baking and manicures to help them both to support their families and create opportunities to share the gospel.
“With the skill acquired through the practical course, they were able to help their families and easily enter the homes of neighbors and the community to serve them and to share the gospel,” the leader said. “The women were very encouraged, and many of them experienced transformation in their lives.”
Discipleship includes Bibles classes on various themes. At a native worker’s class on the role of the church in healing earlier this year, a 60-year-old woman who had suffered much in her life learned the biblical bases for forgiveness and reconciliation.
In tears she had shared much about her pains and frustrations, but the class helped her to shift her focus outside of herself, the leader said.
“She decided to go back to ask her husband and children for forgiveness,” he said. “She became more considerate and kinder, instead of judgmental and quick with hurtful words. In her first week home, her husband and children all remarked how she had changed positively.”
In another discipleship class, a high school girl who stuttered had a very low self-image and could barely carry out basic verbal exchanges, the leader said. When he learned of her condition in the first day of class, he and those present prayed that God would intervene in her struggle.
The next day, she spoke normally for the first time, he said.
“Praise the Lord, to our biggest amazement, suddenly we heard her speak with no timidity, but confidence, translating for the class in very clear, classical Arabic,” the leader said. “A miracle happened in front of us – God had answered our prayers for her amazingly and quickly. We were all dumbfounded!”
The girl also began a time of worship with her family every evening after dinner, he said.
“She told everyone she loved them, and soon everyone in the family also expressed their love to each other for the first time,” he said. “How amazing and infectious love is – what a radical transformation! To God be all the glory, honor and praise for the great things He has done.”
Workers in North Africa are bringing the love of Christ to such people despite many difficulties and dangers. Please consider a donation today to support and encourage them.