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Witnessing Godís Faithfulness in Ethiopia

Hajj Mohammed was a man trained to be a militant. He was a member of the leading Islamic family in the area of southern Ethiopia where he lived. He had studied in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for two years and had memorized the Quran. He was also a persecutor of the Church. In fact, he was the leader of those who persecuted Christians in the area. There came a time, when Hajj and his cohorts planned to kill a particular evangelist, but God had other plans for Hajj.

In Islamic areas, it is not uncommon for God to get peopleís attention through dreams. And that was the case for Hajj. As preparations to kill the evangelist came to fruition, he had two dreams. In one, Jesus showed his love to Mohammed. In the other, God revealed to him the reality of His judgment. Through those dreams and the ministry of the evangelist he intended to kill, Hajj came to faith in Jesus Christ. Sounds a lot like Paul on the road to Damascus, doesnít it?

What does it mean for someone from Hajjís background to come to Christ? He was ex-communicated by his family. He spent time in jail because of false accusations against him. Those he led in attacks on Christians now turned on him. They destroyed his crops and stole his produce and oxen. As a subsistence farmer, living from season to season and plowing with oxen, his livelihood was taken from him. Two weeks before we arrived, someone attempted to burn down his house. The tell-tale burn marks on the house were still evident. He told us that he was getting little sleep since he had to stay awake to watch his compound all night.

In his compound, Hajj has a small church building; a stick and mud hut similar to the houses in the area. Grass is spread on the floor and verses are written on the wall. Here, local Christians gather to worship. He told us how sixty people had recently expressed interest in knowing more about Christ and four of them were going to make a public profession of faith in Christ that coming Sunday. He intended to give the whole compound to the Lord for ministry and to start a kindergarten as a way to reach out to the community which had ex-communicated him and intended him harm.

We asked Hajj how we could pray for him. His prayer is echoed over and over by Ethiopian Christians we have met in the six years that we have ministered there. He asked that we pray for him and that the other Christians in the area would be established in their faith and stand firm for Jesus. That was their concern and desire above all else. Not deliverance but faithfulness!

From the April edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter and is used by permission. www.persecution.net


 


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When does God call people to long-term missionary service?

* 21% were called as a result of a missions education service in their local church
* 20% felt God calling them after listening to missionary speakers
* 19% were called because of their own family's missions vision and conversations
* 10% heard God's call through reading missionary books

-- Terry Read, missionary and missions professor