Serving in the Africa and the Middle East region, we have seen God move in incredible ways as we concentrate our efforts on unreached people groups. Our mandate is to strategize and pursue inroads for outreach opportunities. We have concentrated our efforts strategically around three seasons considered holy on the Islamic calendar as we note that people are open and receptive to having spiritual conversations at these times. These initiatives take considerable resources and are no small task, but through prayer, networking, and God’s favour, He has provided in significant ways.
Through the incredible generosity of charitable organizations, individuals, and international partners, we were able to raise the resources needed to equip 6,000 gospel workers. They have received training and Bible resources to help them as they go among the unreached communities in the country. The subsequent testimonies coming out of those efforts cause our hearts to rejoice as we hear story after story of how our unreached brothers and sisters are finding hope, love, forgiveness, and healing in Jesus. We cannot contain what is happening! The gospel is multiplying as those seeds are being planted. Our role is to fan it into flame. There are so many testimonies but limited space and time—I am delighted to share a few with you.
The Woman with the Issue of Blood
Like the New Testament account of the woman who suffered from chronic bleeding (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:24-34; and Luke 8:42b-44), there was a young lady who was dealing with the same struggle for the past six years. She was shunned by her community as well. A gospel worker was in a neighbouring village when she and her mother heard his message. They went to him, and he shared the gospel and prayed for her. She was immediately healed. She and her mother came back to their home village, and the neighbouring village publicly proclaimed her healing in the name of Christ. As the community witnessed what had happened to her, many exclaimed, “We want to learn about the Christ of this power.” There are now multiple house churches in that community.
A Desperate Plea for a Woman with Mental Illness
A gospel worker was asked to come to a community at the request of a family to help a lady who was out of her mind. She had to be tied up and was living outside the family home in a small shelter. The community came around to see the worker speaking softly to her. The woman fell and became unresponsive, which angered the religious leaders and bystanders. They began beating the worker, but soon after the woman regained consciousness. Now in her right mind, she called out, “Please stop. Don’t turn him away. He has removed the torturer, and now I have peace!” She came to Christ and was freed from the evil spirits. Many in the community also came to faith as a result. That same day, seven house churches were birthed.
Holy Spirit Movements
A Student’s Encounter
A gospel worker was invited to the family home of a Muslim student who was studying to become a mosque leader and had recently come home for a brief school break. The worker shared about Jesus being the Saviour from three key fears within the community’s beliefs: sin, judgment, and the Antichrist. The student was angry and wanted to kick him out, but he continued listening because hospitality is important in their culture. When the student went back to school, he mentioned to his friends what had happened and how this man was talking about Jesus, the Messiah. One of the schoolteachers quickly responded with interest and asked that the student bring the worker to meet with the school leaders and students. He shared, “Twenty years ago I had a vision, and no one has been able to share with me about what I saw.”
When the worker came to the school, the teacher said: “You must teach us all about the truth of Jesus.” The worker addressed the school (consisting of 400+ students and five teachers). After he was done, almost all of them decided to follow Jesus, declaring Him as their Saviour. The students are continuing to grow in their knowledge and are being discipled. They represent various regions and communities and are recognized as community leaders and influencers. We are excited to hear how God will continue to work in their lives as they impact others.
The Prompting to Give a Bible
Another gospel worker felt prompted by God to take a Bible to a mosque leader. He was nervous, but after giving it to him, the leader responded in tears, “Twenty years ago I had a vision about Jesus. But I have never heard anything since, nor have I been able to read His book. This is a fulfilment of what God started when He showed me that vision 20 years ago. God was saying that this is when that book of Jesus is to be released into our people.” He put the Bible on his head and was jumping with joy. As a result, a few weeks later, there are multiple house churches. He is teaching about Jesus the Messiah from the Gospels.
As part of the ongoing discipleship process, 400 new house church leaders had gathered to learn more about the Spirit of God. The lead instructor decided to use the passage in Galatians 5, which talks about the fruit of the Spirit. The attendees heard about what the Spirit will produce in their lives. Their response was to kneel and begin to pray, cry out, and seek God. Suddenly they were all filled with the Spirit, began speaking in tongues, and experienced first-hand what the baptism of the Holy Spirit was, even before they knew what it was all about. As a result, those leaders are now taking their experience and learning and multiplying it wherever they go.
Many more people have come to know Christ, and thousands of house churches have been established. Only heaven knows the story of each transformed life, but we rejoice that He has called us to serve alongside Him in pursuing the unreached with His love.
Jeremy Feller serves as the regional director for Africa and the Middle East with International Missions of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. He and his wife, Teresa, have served as global workers in Ethiopia since 2003. They have three young children.
This article appeared in the January/February/March 2022 issue of testimony/Enrich, a quarterly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. © 2022 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Photo © istockphoto.com.