This is the second post of life-changing stories … if you missed the earlier stories, you can read them here.
“Do all things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.” Romans 12:17
Sometimes God adds to his family one at a time, but occasionally a new convert becomes a catalyst for many to follow Him. Shortly after a church was built in 2022, famine hit Missionary Abi’s village*. Things were very, very bad with many cycles of crop failure, but Abi worked tirelessly getting food to people (provided by friends of NewLife) and praying for starving, worried people. A few months ago, one of the area’s most influential mosque leaders, Sheik Admasu, took Abi aside telling him he believed his village was in good condition now because Abi prayed for rain that resulted in the good crops they have today. He also thanked Abi and all the Christians for providing food for everyone during that most desperate time. Sheik Admasu explained, “I have watched you and have come to understand that you worship the true God and He hears your prayers. Now I want to learn of Him.” You can imagine Abi’s delight to have the privilege of sharing scripture with such an influential man. With his Bible open, Abi explained the simple, powerful message of Jesus’ sacrifice to free us from sin. The Holy Spirit empowered Admasu to confess his sins and welcome Jesus into his life. Then he gathered a group of friends and family and invited Abi to tell them all about Jesus. Because of the example of this revered spiritual leader, many in the group and others in the village have been drawn to Jesus as their Savior. Abi is discipling this new group of converts, grounding them in God’s Word in bi-weekly Bible studies. Thankfully, NewLife had recently provided Abi Bibles in his tribal language, so those who could read were given their very own Holy Book.
“Come and see…” John 1:46
One of our most ambitious missionaries, Deka*, shepherds a thriving Christian community in the hill country near his home. The past several months he started going to another village that had never been exposed to the Good News, using his motorbike for the 30-minute journey over hilly terrain with no roads. He felt God urging him to go to this village – but he knew nobody there and wondered what God was going to do.
One of the first people he encountered was an old man named Elias. Deka was surprised to learn that Elias had once been a Christ-follower, but with no other Christians around him he had gone back to Islam. After several long discussions, the former Christian repented and dedicated himself once and for all to Jesus.
Deka returned to this new village three times a week to disciple Elias. On his third visit, he was surprised to find Elias had gathered 18 people, many who were mosque leaders, to hear what Deka had to say. Of course, he gladly explained the scriptures, answering many challenges and questions with God’s Word. He held these open air “seminars” for several weeks and many of his listeners became convinced that Jesus is truly God’s Son and died for their sins. The end result? Today Deka is teaching 128 converts three times a week! They now meet at a woman’s house that has a large courtyard.
Do you realize what you just read? A new Bride of Christ (His Church) was just birthed! The people are ravenous for more of God’s Word and are inviting their family and friends to “come and hear.” Our hope is to get personal Bibles to this village as well as audio Bibles for those who cannot read. We also want to get a powerful Proclaimer audio Bible to them so when Deka is not there the people can listen to God’s Word as a group and discuss what the Holy Spirit is teaching them.
*We do not use real names or reveal the village for security reasons