by Abebe Getachew
A Major Challenge
By the grace of our Lord, a church was founded in a place where 99% of the people are Mus!im and have never heard the truth about Jesus. In this area we have two very courageous and effective missionaries, Samuel, and Abrahim,* who are impacting their tribal society with the Good News.
Just as the church construction was finishing, a mosque was intentionally built right next to it for the express purpose of attacking or intimidating the born-again Christ-followers and interrupting their worship with loudspeakers. The converts resisted the harassment, responding with persistence, kindness, and intercessory prayer. Two weeks ago, mosque leaders constructed a big fence closing access to the main gate of the church.
The missionaries and church leaders complained to the local government that the fence affected the day-to-day activities of the church, including the literacy school that was for all children of the village. The government officials promised to open the main gate soon, but so far, no action has been taken. The church is praying day and night.
First bad news, then Good News!
Despite challenges, our missionaries continue serving the Lord by obeying His commandment to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to their Mus!im neighbors. Doing this brings strong challenge from the community and their immediate families. Samuel is angrily opposed by his father and brother. They are furious that Samuel follows Isa (Jesus) and has led many Mus!ims to Christ. In response to this heretical activity, Samuel’s father and brother agreed to take away his inherited farmland. Samuel pleaded with them not to do this thing but was unsuccessful in changing their mind. Throughout all their conversations, Samuel was always telling them about Christ Jesus.
Several months later, Samuel’s stepmother started constructing a house. Samuel helped his family out by buying tin for the roof, which is a huge gift. By this act the stepmother was very much surprised by what her stepson did and very happy by the gift she got. She blessed Samuel and then explained to her husband what he did for them. She said Samuel was the only son who helped with house construction; no other son or daughter helped in any way. She said to her husband that what Samuel did was very special and told Samuel’s father that what he did to Samuel, with the help of his other son, was not good and not fair, and she asked her husband to reconsider his decision.
After all this clarification to the father, Samuel’s dad was really touched by his son’s big-heartedness, and he regretted what he did against Samuel. The father asked forgiveness from Samuel and returned the farmland to him.
After much prayer, Samuel gathered his whole family together telling them about the love God had for them. First his stepmother, then his father, followed by two brothers and a sister, knelt and asked God to forgive their sins and take over their lives. At this time, they are all learning how to follow Jesus, looking to Samuel and Abrahim as teachers and examples.
*Names are changed for security reasons. The area in which our missionaries are working is sensitive, and we don’t want to put them at risk.