Living among our new people group, surrounded by strict followers of Islam and bombarded at every turn with the spiritual forces of darkness, we count ourselves privileged to have met 5 of the 6 known believers within the entire group. Reported as 100% Muslim, with most having no access to the gospel, we sat with our brothers and listened to stories of how they encountered Jesus and some of their faith walk so far.
All of them have come to faith within the last 2 years— the two newest believers accepted Jesus only months ago. They have all stood strong in the face of persecution and rejection and all share similar stories. After meeting Jesus and deciding to follow Him, they all prayed about how and when to tell their families. This was not an easy choice for any of them and they knew the risks were high. After much prayer, however, every one of them met with their family, proclaimed the gospel, and declared that they are now followers of Jesus.
Every one of our brothers was then rejected by his family and persecuted to varying degrees.
Motivated by love for their sons and brothers, their families have grieved their decision to follow Christ and have gone to great lengths to win them back. All these believers have been kidnapped at least once, with the intent of converting them back to Islam through whatever means necessary. Twice, one of our brothers has been led out of a village to be stoned to death—his family believing it was better that he die than live as a Christian. Every time and through every circumstance, God has provided a miraculous way of escape and none of our brothers have been lost.
They continue to pray for their families and are actively trying to restore contact and relationship with them in order to share the hope they now have. One brother said “How can I leave my family in darkness and with no hope? They need to know Jesus just as I do and I will not stop until they realize who He is and what He has done for them. I know my life is in His hands and if I die, I know where I’m going. When they die, they have no hope. I need to keep pursuing them and praying for them, that they would encounter Jesus as I have.”
Please pray for our 6 brothers from this unreached people group, for their walk and witness, and for their families. They are actively sharing and discipling at least 9 others and are always asking for more. We know that God is on the move, and we see Him working in mighty ways. However, there are still hundreds of thousands here without access to the gospel and Jesus’ desire is still for us to…
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”Matthew 28:19-20
On a personal note:
Our whole family is working hard to learn the language! We have language classes every day and are starting to put sentences together and use some of our hundreds of memorized words. Please pray for quick acquisition we we can communicate needed truth in our community.
Tom had an opportunity to go with a friend to deliver needed supplies and to pray against witchcraft happening at a hospital.