Sharing Jesus, seeing fruit

Nicole James | North Africa

Isaac* and Shady* train North Africans to share the gospel. Isaac leads local and overseas outreaches, while Shady focuses on theoretical and theological preparation for young people in his country.

In 1998, Shady joined a short-term outreach with OM to the Near East (NE) field (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria). Afterwards, he joined another short-term team in his home country in North Africa. Two years later, Isaac also participated in an OM short-term trip in the NE before beginning to reach out in his home country. Today, both Isaac and Shady serve in OM leadership for their country.

Training in country

“The main vision for me is to help youth in North Africa to study the Bible, to study apologetics and to learn about how to answer Muslims’ questions,” Shady explained.

Shady trains young people and then sends them out, often with Isaac. “We need a lot of Christians to share the gospel,” Shady said. “We can’t share with millions [alone]. We need to encourage a lot of people to do it, too.”

Many of the young people who participate in OM’s training and outreaches have some church background. But they rarely mentioned Jesus to Muslims. “Now they have the vision and share the gospel every day with their friends at university and their jobs,” Shady said. 

In September, a group of North Africans distributed 9,500 Bibles in five days. “We want to get the Bible into the hands of more Muslims,” he stated.

Sharing abroad

Five years ago, Isaac visited another country in North Africa on a short-term outreach. He met one man named Farid* and told him about the salvation and life found through Jesus. Then, Isaac gave Farid a Gospel and asked him to read it.

“If I don’t understand a verse, what can I do?” Farid wondered.

“Ask God,” Isaac answered.

A few days later, police detained Isaac. When he was released, he met Farid on a nearby beach.

Farid told Isaac he had read the Gospel and asked God for understanding. “I want to accept Jesus and be baptized now in the sea,” Farid said.

Isaac agreed. Farid became his brother in Christ.

After Isaac returned to his country, he lost contact with Farid. Three years later, he visited Farid’s country again. Sitting down in a church, he told another friend about Farid. That friend knew Farid and told Isaac that Farid had led his entire family to Christ.

“I like this story,” Isaac explained. “God is alive. God is present. God changes people.”

Last summer, Isaac and his wife traveled to a Mediterranean country where they hoped to meet Arab Muslims on vacation. The couple had wanted to take a larger group, but issues procuring visas meant they went alone— “a honeymoon and ministry,” Isaac quipped.

During that trip, Isaac’s wife talked to 70 women from North Africa and the Near East. She shared the gospel with all of them and gave them Bibles. Isaac and his wife returned to North Africa after the trip, but Isaac said they should have stayed longer. “We need to disciple them,” he explained.

On another outreach abroad, Isaac shared John 14:16 with a man he met on the street. After hearing the verse, the man stopped Isaac and said, “I prayed today, ‘Lord, let me meet someone who can tell me what is the way to You.’”

Immediately, the man prayed with Isaac to accept Jesus as his Savior.

Praise God for the opportunities Shady and Isaac have to share Jesus in North Africa and overseas. Pray that more North Africans would be trained and equipped to reach out to Muslims with the hope of Christ.

*Name changed for security

Nicole James is an international writer for OM, passionate about publishing stories of God’s work among the nations and telling people about the wonderful things He is doing around the world.

Published: Thursday, 22 February 2018
Credit: Nicole James
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