Five years ago, a Muslim family man in northern Iraq believed Christians were misguided and that Islam was the solution to the world’s problems.
When Islamic State (ISIS) militants took over his town in the Nineveh plains, he rejoiced that Islamic law would finally be implemented.
Within a month, ISIS forces had beaten his sister and mother on the street and killed his brother.
He had lost the woman he had married 11 years before when she finally decided she had to get away from the violence erupting from his addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Enrique knew his life was in ruins, but the 35-year-old electrician in Peru felt helpless to repair it.
When a neighbor in his village brought him to a native missionary’s church, he seemed impervious to the gospel preaching but liked the worship atmosphere. He returned to the Sunday services for months.
A police officer in Burma (Myanmar), fired from the force after 10 years on duty due to a drug offense, was listening as a native ministry leader spoke of Christ at his prison.
The leader provided the inmates with food as well as spiritual nourishment, and the former policeman, Nyan, sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit.
As the ministry team left, the preacher had no way of knowing his impact on Nyan’s life.
A visitor to a native missionary’s modest church in a village in Sri Lanka would never guess that a 42-year-old mother of three, Nethmi, had fought demonic forces to get in.
The native missionaries who lead the church say she must have been possessed by an evil spirit, because just as she stepped in and saw the congregation, she shouted that she couldn’t come inside and began to run back out.
When she tried to leave, however, she fell down for no apparent reason.
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.
A native missionary who pastors a new church recently led an evangelistic outreach in an undisclosed village in Kenya where he met a man who appeared deeply troubled, forlorn and shunned.
He had a desperate air about him, but in time the missionary found he had charisma and an engaging laugh; why did villagers avoid him?
As they were talking one day, the man swallowed and decided to tell the pastor his secrets.
Alberto, who had been raised to believe in God in Colombia, borrowed a motorcycle with the idea of ramming it into oncoming traffic to kill himself.
He had taken to carousing with new friends who led him to alcohol and drug addiction, but when he became seriously ill, they had abandoned him.
His choices had led him to the edge of a dangerous pit of despair.
More Syrian refugees flooding into job-scarce towns in Turkey further agitate Turks who have already derided and attacked them as Arabic-speaking trouble-makers.
Unwelcome in Turkey, Muslim refugees from terrorist-infested Idlib, Syria face the threat of officials sending them back if they are suspected of association with Islamist extremist militants and rebel fighters there.
More than eight years after war drove millions of Syrians out of their country, a cascade of geopolitical events has hit refugees in Turkey especially hard.
Relatives hostile to Christian faith, flooded roads that damage motorcycles, government restrictions on travel – all can instill fear in both native missionaries and new Christians in Laos.
In one of the world’s last bastions of communism, a 2016 religion law known as Decree 315 threatens to cripple efforts to spread the gospel. Gathering together, holding worship services, traveling and planting churches where none existed require prior permission.
Native missionaries are confronting a new level of fear and intimidation.
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.
Founded in 1953, Christian Aid Mission seeks to establish a witness for Christ in every nation by assisting indigenous ministries based in areas of poverty and persecution, giving priority to ministries sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with unreached people groups. Today, we work with hundreds of indigenous ministries in eight regions of the world that share the gospel with more than 1,700 unreached people groups.