A 32-year-old mother in northern Africa had failed so much in her relationships that she saw suicide as the only solution, but her attempt to take her life also failed.
Heba* was rescued before she could end her life, condemning her to continue in the misery whose sources she did not fully understand; a mysterious force seemed to darken her relationship with her husband.
An affair with a younger man blunted the pain at times but soon compounded it, further toxifying problems with her husband and interfering with her care for their only child, a son. Her home life was crumbling, but she could not bring herself to break off the affair.
“I was living a miserable life filled with sadness, failure and problems,” Heba said.
When she heard about a local ministry’s conference for young women and teenage girls, attending it brought the first glimmer of hope to her life, she said.
“When I heard the first day about accepting Christ and that it changes one’s life, I went and sat down with the leader of the conference, and I was convinced that there was hope,” Heba said.
As the leader and another worker prayed with her, she realized a demonic force had been at work in her life and marriage, she said.
“They prayed with me and glorified the Lord with my liberation from the demonic force,” she said. “It changed me very much.”
Soon thereafter the leader taught her how to enter into saving relationship with Christ, and she put her faith in Him, began spending daily time in prayer and Scripture and attended church services, Heba said.
“I made a decision to cut off the relationship that did not please God, and I learned how to deal with my husband in a healthy way, which made my life a joy with God, my husband and my son,” she said. “I felt as if I had died and had new life. Glory to the Lord.”
Six such conferences for girls and young women helped transform many other lives as well, and at five conferences for young people of both sexes, about 70 percent received Christ and entered into discipleship groups, the leader said.
A conference emphasizing emotional recovery for 70 young men and women brought the light of Christ in counter-cultural teaching on biblical concepts of God the Father, forgiveness and the spiritual riches of being in Christ, he said.
Such conferences helped workers plant 20 house churches, including some in three new areas.
“Also, we have leaders who are responsible for each area and follow up with the new house churches for their needs, spiritual follow-up, growing and multiplying,” the leader said. “Many of those are Muslim Background Believers.”
At the same time, local missionaries provided Christ-based, family counseling that helped 500 people break harmful cycles. Many of them were nominal Christians who sought to escape their marriages and leave their children behind by changing their religion to Islam, the leader said.
“Some of them had reached the path of divorce, but we helped them find a change in their lives and in their relationships with their families and children,” he said. “Many young people who were addicted to drugs accepted Christ, and this transformed their families, their money management, their health and, most of all, the impact on their children. They continue to attend meetings in the local church and attend prayer meetings and discipleship groups.”
Healing and Wholeness
The ministry has 72 such discipleship groups with a total of about 720 people meeting weekly.
Many of them came to Christ through the ministry’s various conferences. A 38-year-old father of three said he was addicted to drugs and worked as a swindler and thief before attending one of the conferences.
“I heard about this conference from a friend, and I decided to go with him in order to steal and to see what other opportunities for swindling there might be at the conference,” he said. “I was amazed and stunned at the teaching, and on the second day the speaker reached me with the message that the Lord loves me despite the evil and sin I have done.”
Amazed that the speaker greeted him and his friend with such warm acceptance, the man later prayed to receive Christ, he said.
“On the third day I sat with the speaker, and he helped me get out of my condition and addiction, and now I am in the Lord and back to my family,” he said. “I pray and search for an honorable job, attend the church in my area and feel inner joy and satisfaction with myself.”
Such local missionaries are bringing the message of Christ’s salvation throughout northern Africa. Please consider a donation today to help them share God’s love to the lost.
*Name changed for security reasons