BLOG: Living and serving in North Africa

Conversation hosted by Chris, Church Development Co-ordinator

 

Steve and Rachel* have been serving in a North African country for the past eight years. Chris recently caught up with Rachel to get an inside view on life and ministry in the Muslim-majority nation that they work in.

 

Whatโ€™s life like in the country you serve in?

The first thing that hits you is the poverty; it is one of the poorest nations in the world. And along with the poverty comes infant mortality. But you quickly discover just how resourceful people are – those who live near the desert know where to find water in places you would never imagine! They are some of the hardiest people on earth and their mindset is that if they stick together they know that they will overcome difficulties.

A large part of the country is majority Muslim, but in other areas there is a strong Christian presence, as well as some animism. You can be quite bold in sharing the gospel providing you are not blunt or insensitive, as that will only ostracise people.

Life has at times been quite challenging there over the past year, partly due to the pandemic, but more significantly due to civil unrest that has caused widespread tension.

 

How is ministry developing there?

One believer has recently been used mightily by God to share his faith and to encourage other believers from a Muslim background (BMBs). He has helped lead many to Christ. We are praying for him as he is now facing persecution from his tribe. There are ten groups of people he has been in contact with that continue to meet, a testimony to the powerful ministry of this young man.

In your opinion, what is the role of overseas workers there today?

I see that one of our primary roles is to equip BMBs. Steve has been studying the Old Testament with a group of BMBs, which has greatly helped to grow their understanding of Godโ€™s redemptive plan throughout the Bible. This type of teaching is one area where overseas workers with theological training can excel; and the BMBs have benefited in their own discipleship.

Another area is advocacy. Many BMBs struggle to become integrated with local churches due to language and distance barriers. They meet in small fellowship groups where they can worship Jesus in their own way. Over many years Steve and other workers have patiently advocated for these groups. Praise God, we have seen encouragements, and these fellowships are now being acknowledged by a group of evangelical denominations within the country!

Will you join us in praying for Godโ€™s work in North Africa and throughout the Arab world? For resources to help you pray, click here. If you have a heart for the Arab world and would like to explore your calling on a short-term mission trip, check out our Edge teams and Venture placements. For more information, contact Ben at beng@awm-pioneers.org

*Names changed for security reasons.

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