Hundreds of thousands of North Africans that live in Europe travel by ferry in the summer months to visit family in North Africa.
Last summer, I helped with the distributions we did for three port cities. Collectively we handed out thousands of New Testaments (7,247) and other materials such as More than a Carpenter, illustrated children’s book, and Magdalena DVDs. Along with 800+ USBs loaded with the same content. Seeing and experiencing the way that God is at work in preparing people’s hearts to receive His Word and understanding the transforming power of Jesus was impactful.
We offered to one man who was waiting in his car to board the boat, and he said: “Just last night, I was talking with a friend about Jesus, and now you are here offering me the New Testament packet. I am shocked and excited to accept it.”
We continued to the cars ahead of him; when we walked passed him again, he called us over. He asked for another packet to give to his friend, and we were happy to oblige!
In another city,
Our distribution team also had an evangelism team, and discipleship teams made up of Christians from the Middle East, native Arabic speakers. In that city, there were over 30 people that made decisions to follow Christ this last summer. More than half of them had received Bible packets in the previous year.
Two of the women that accepted Christ had been working as prostitutes. We met with them the next day after they prayed to receive Christ. We wanted to make sure they understood their commitment to the Lord and to begin a discipleship process with them. Our team asked them if they felt as if their lives were self-directed or Christ-directed? The two women responded: “Christ is the one directing my life.” The team then asked, which had represented their lives the day before, and they replied, “self-directed.”
The two women understood there was a change in just a moment when they accepted Christ’s death on their behalf. What a beautiful thing to understand, our team meets with them often to disciple them and encourage them in their faith. Early on meeting with them, we found that their path to prostitution was linked to being illiterate. We began Spanish classes for the two women so they can learn to speak, write, and read Spanish.
At the end of the summer in another city,
Two young North African men approached our local coordinator, asking if they could be involved in the distribution. The men explained:
“We are from a neighboring Muslim country, six years ago, we both decided to leave Islam and follow Jesus. We originally were a part of an underground church when we were baptized.”
One of the young men continued:
“I was a Muslim religious leader (imam), after deciding to follow Jesus, I received many threats on my life. I decided to cross the border and seek religious asylum. Both of us understand that being involved in the distribution would mean being very visible and opening ourselves up to receive many insults and threats. Still, we express our desire to be involved and will do the work with joy.”