Local Missionaries in North Africa
From the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in the West to the Red Sea in the East, North Africa is ethnically, culturally, and linguistically distinct from the rest of Africa. The Sahara Desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile regions along the northern Mediterranean coast and the Nile River in Egypt and Sudan.
Arabs from the Middle East conquered the region between the A.D. 600s and 1000s, bringing the Berbers and Egyptians who inhabited the area under Arabic and Muslim culture. Today, the population of this vast region is almost entirely Islamic. In most North African countries, sharing the gospel, holding a church meeting, or even owning a Bible is illegal. Believers risk imprisonment and physical harm, including death, for openly practicing their faith.
Christian Aid Mission assists indigenous ministries based in seven North African countries. These ministries are wisely and strategically discipling, training, and equipping believers to plant churches in their communities.
One ministry is providing online church-planter training to Muslim-background believers from a particularly restricted country. They are also reaching seekers through their website and social media, following up with all who express interest in the gospel and connecting them with their on-ground team for discipleship.
A total of 12 indigenous ministries in another country need assistance for evangelism and discipleship programs to train and equip hundreds of youth, pastors, and church leaders to work in areas that are unreached with the gospel.
Since the Arab Spring revolution, youth in North Africa have faced difficulties. Multiple ministries are reaching this vulnerable population through sports, leadership development programs, and vocational training. They have opened Christian kindergartens to reach both children and their mothers, in addition to holding conferences for families where the gospel is shared. Multiple ministries provide educational assistance to poor children. An indigenous ministry is finding success in sharing the gospel through its Christian primary school attended by 700 to 1,000 students in a 99.5-percent Islamic nation.
Other ministries throughout North Africa request help to provide for the needs of persecuted believers who have lost jobs or whose families have rejected them because of their faith, for poverty-stricken refugees who fled from war and terrorism, and for people displaced by natural disaster. Missionary support, Bibles, training, transportation, and gospel tools like projectors, musical instruments, computers, etc., are also among the most needed resources for effective outreach in North Africa.
How to Pray for
- Pray that God would open the eyes of people in North Africa to the fallacy of Islam and lead them to Jesus Christ.
- Pray for great wisdom and courage for indigenous missionaries sharing the gospel in areas where doing so might cost them their lives.
- Pray that new, Muslim-background believers would stand firm in their faith and be discipled in God’s Word.
More stories from North Africa
The family of a man in northern Africa dying of a liver disease had already planned his funeral when a native Christian worker went to pray for him. “Our worker went by faith and laid hands on him and prayed fervently by faith, asking God to be honored and glorified in his life,” the leader of the native ministry said. The patient’s vital signs began to improve, but soon the village elders sought to ban the worker from the area.
Christians and Muslims are forming relationships that create good will and break down barriers to the gospel through a local ministry’s sports outreach. Competitions are held in several areas, including one where provincial officials attended events and praised workers for creating a spirit of cooperation as they brought together people of different faiths and economic levels for sustainable development.
In spite of arrests and church closures, with much prayer and fasting native Christian workers shared the gospel in both broadcast recordings and personal discussions as they planted several home fellowships. One worker visited a man dying from a liver disease. After he lay hands on him and prayed, the man left the hospital 11 days later completely healed, and he and 35 relatives put their faith in Christ.
Working in a strict Muslim country, native Christian workers had the experience to safely share the gospel with many people as they visited 21 villages last year, 10 of them previously unreached. They planted 91 secret house churches, each with five to 10 members, in 12 villages.
Multiple kinds of outreaches of one native ministry enabled workers to bring the gospel to more than 140,000 people over the course of six months, and to another 32,000 souls through media. “We thank the Lord for continuing to deliver the message of Jesus to needy people,” the native ministry leader said.
Pastors leading churches in predominantly Muslim areas face the challenges of members losing opportunities for jobs or marriage because of their new faith, as well as lack of worship buildings. Native Christian workers offering leadership and evangelism trainings address these challenges and teach values such as servant leadership and unity.