Fadhel was born to a Muslim family in a closed country of North Africa. His family members were very devout in their Islamic faith. Though he had spent many years studying and following Islam, he always felt that something was missing in his life. As a young man, he began to read books about different religions. By the time he had reached his teenage years, he had rejected the faith of his parents, yet he still didn’t know what to believe. He continued his daily life but felt a deep spiritual emptiness.
Two years ago, he began to search for the truth once again. One day, he watched a Christian film that touched his heart. He immediately went out and found a New Testament and read it cover to cover twice. Looking back, he said the story of Jesus healing the centurion’s servant in Luke 7 was what touched his heart the most. He was astounded by Jesus’ power and His teaching on faith. Fadhel began to discuss the things he was learning with his friends, and some of them became convinced along with him about the truth of Jesus. Fadhel decided to surrender his life to the Lord and become a follower of Jesus.
Here is where our partner Maghreb Ministry enters the story. Maghreb is a Christian ministry that supports the work of the national evangelical church body in their country through evangelism, discipleship, training conferences, and media follow up. They follow up with contacts of Christian media programs which are broadcast by satellite television, radio, and internet. This type of ministry is extremely powerful in North Africa as more and more young people have access to the internet and satellite television.
Fadhel contacted Maghreb Ministry to share his testimony and to ask questions about the next steps of faith. On average each month, Maghreb sends out 150 Bibles and responds to 200 follow-up requests. Their team follows up every contact with a phone call, email, or personal visit. Their goal is to see each person accept Christ, be baptized, and get connected to a local church, if there is one. If no local church is available, Maghreb helps to mentor the new believer as he or she establishes a new cell group. Thanks to Maghreb’s mentoring, Fadhel is now leading a cell group with some of his friends who are interested in following Jesus as well. Maghreb’s team does this dozens of times each week–connecting isolated believers together in house churches that will hopefully grow and strengthen over time.
In the country where Maghreb Ministry serves, Muslims outnumber Christians 25,000 to one. Few of the people have ever even seen a Bible, let alone read one. Many believe they are ‘born’ Muslims and that even doubting their religion is a sin.
Despite this very challenging environment, Amir, Maghreb Ministry’s director, says that the Church in his nation is growing faster than it has in a millennium. Media is giving many people their first opportunity to be exposed to Christianity and access the Bible for themselves. Many are following Jesus as a result of miracles, dreams, signs, wonders, and the testimonies of changed lives.
“God guarantees the presence of every nation before His throne!” Amir said. “God’s infinite zeal for His glory and His deep passion for a redeemed relationship with all ethnic groups will ultimately overcome all opposition. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says, ‘I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’ Amen!”