Strengthening the Church in North Africa

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

We have seen throughout human history how God’s redemption plan touches everything; he makes beauty out of ashes and literally brings the dead back to life. Today, while you read the news and see a world saturated by death, know that the same God is alive and well. He is as powerful as ever, and he is building his Church just as he promised to Peter in Matthew 16.

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The Pew Research Center says 99 percent of Christians now live outside the Middle East-North Africa region where Christianity began.

  
We are seeing God breathe new life into the Middle East-North Africa region through faithful, courageous followers of Jesus like Karim*, a man DNA co-founder Darrow Miller describes as “a man of deep faith without fear.”

Karim, a husband and father of two, is native to a North African country where Christians compose just one percent of the population and it’s illegal to convert away from Islam. He mentors younger Christians, many of whom are from Muslim backgrounds and have extremely few options for receiving Christian discipleship training. In April, Darrow spent a few days with Karim and several young believers. “All of our youth group told me that I have to invite him again,” says Karim. “They said that his teaching is new for them and they see it as very important. They said that the teaching is simple and deep.”

Darrow returned in July, this time to connect with Karim and other Christian leaders from North Africa. The 20 or so members of this group mostly were in their 20s–half were men and half women–all from North Africa. They were attending a month-long training coordinated by Karim and featuring Christian speakers from all over the globe. One of the attendees from a neighboring country works as an evangelist, discipler, regular guest in a Christian radio program, and a leader in his 400-person church. He admits his work is very dangerous but this is what God has called him to do.

Darrow taught for two days on The Transforming Story and The Power of Story. The group examined in depth what the Bible says about women and about freedom–topics acutely relevant to their context. They watched a clip of the Landfill Harmonic and discussed how all people worldwide are made in the image of God.

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“This is a biblical teaching not just for a region but for everywhere,” says Karim. “The principles of the kingdom in the midst of the world, how to see the world, how to be a blessing and see transformation.”

Karim says many Christians in his region are rejected by their families and friends because of their faith, causing them to become isolated and to build relationships only with other believers. “They forget about the message and the call to be a blessing for the world,” he says. “This teaching gives a good point of view; it helps to reconnect with the world in new heart and vision and way.”

Now, these courageous young men and women have returned to their homes to make disciples, love their neighbors and shape the culture in their various spheres of influence. Please pray for them as they face many challenges.

*A pseudonym has been used to protect this man’s identity

 

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