Below is a story that can only be called a God story. It’s about His providence and desire to bring His children into His arms. It’s a story about the faithfulness of His people to bring the gospel to unreached people. It’s not a One Challenge story but comes to us from a worker with whom OC works in the CAMENA region (Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa).
Here’s the story as told by the OC’s CAMENA area director:
A Latino mission worker couple who I oversee were sent from a Latin American indigenous tribe. They now work in a strategic city in the interior of a large Muslim-majority country of our focus region.
About 70 Years Ago
Their story. About 70 years ago, a North American lady worked tirelessly among a Latin American indigenous people group. After many years of laboring without significant fruit, she packed up her belongings to return to her country of origin.
As she prepared to leave, some 13 to 16-year-old indigenous boys were walking through the market in the main town when they heard a record being played in their own language. They were excited as they approached the man playing the record to ask what it was. “It’s a record of God’s message and it comes from His book! Would you like to buy this record?” They learned that it was a lady who had made the recording and they searched the town until they found her the day before she was leaving the country.
“Please come to our village and tell us the story of this book!” they pleaded. “No, no. I’m leaving. I can’t come,” she said. They begged her, but she refused. She was tired and ready to go home. However, because of their persistence, she finally relented and said, “If you come at 6 a.m. tomorrow to this tree, I will tell you the story of this book.”
The next morning the boys showed up at 6 a.m. She taught them the whole day until 8 p.m., telling the story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, that through Jesus, God had a plan to redeem all the peoples of the earth. She said this message was not just for them, but that one day they too would be responsible to bring this gospel to the unreached peoples at the ends of the earth. She also taught them a few hymns she had translated into their language. She said, “I will be back next year for a visit. If in one year, you are still interested, we can talk.”
What Happened One Year Later
A year later when she returned, these boys managed to find her. They brought her to their village two hours away in the hills outside of town.
As they approached the village, the lady heard singing. She recognized the song as one of the hymns she had taught those boys. When they entered the village, she found the entire village singing in worship of Jesus. The whole village had come to Christ!
Two Generations Later
Now, two generations later, this young couple I work with has been sent by their church from that town to reach the unreached in our region. One of the church elders, now an old man, laid his hands on them at their commissioning and with tears in his eyes said, “I was one of those 13-year-old boys. For years I have been praying that our people would one day play our part in the Great Commission. Today I’m seeing the fulfillment of that prayer.”
God is Moving Today
“Polycentric Mission: From everywhere to everywhere.” This is what God is doing. An indigenous people in Latin America, with only a couple generations of faith, have sent their best to reach the least reached at the “ends of the earth!” In these past six to nine months, three men in the Muslim-majority city where they live have come to faith in Jesus and are preparing for baptism.
At the same time, back in Latin America, 30 indigenous believers from their sending church pray daily for these new Muslim-background believers. Does this create expectation for what God will do in that city?
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for this Latino couple serving in the Muslim-majority region. God is doing great work through them.
- Pray for OC’s CAMENA team, that they would best know how to serve this couple and the people with whom they work.
- Pray for the new believers in this region. Pray they would grow in their relationship and reliance on the Lord.
*all images taken from unsplash.com and do not represent actual locations or persons from the story in order to protect workers and those they serve.