Saturday, October 15, 2016

Piercing the Darkness in North Africa

Outside his window, Karim and his family watched the North African sun descend beneath the desert sands. Night approached quickly. His wife and children latched wooden beams over the doors and windows—a familiar routine as they secured their home for the evening. Tonight, however, his family would not gather around the dim light of a lone candle like others. 

With careful hands Karim pulled out a small, solar-powered lamp. “Kulumi lamps,” the doctor missionaries called them. Nearly a month had passed since the Christians had visited Karim and his family, providing medicine for their illnesses and gifting them with the lamp.  

“Baba[1],” his youngest came to him. “Can we hear the story?” Smiling, Karim turned on the lamp, equipped with miniature speakers and an SD card. He pressed the button near its base and the familiar voice of a narrator told the story of Jesus in Arabic. His family knew it well, having listened to it many times. 

Like many people in this secluded, North African village, Karim imagined Christians to be evil and terrible. Their government taught them to fear Christians. But this stereotype shattered the moment some undercover missionaries knocked on the door and generously offered them medical care and light.  

God ordained the way the medical missionaries appeared at Karim’s door. With the country closed off to Christianity, the team had hoped to use their medical expertise in local hospitals as a way to quietly share the gospel one-on-one. In a last-moment decision, the government refused them access to the hospitals. So they prayed, waiting for God to reveal their next steps. 

Instead of making rounds within the hospitals, the team discovered God wanted them to make personal house calls. By partnering with Jesus Film®, the medical team received 72 Kulumi lamps, each with an SD card containing the audio adaptations of JESUS and the New Testament in Arabic, which can be played on the audio player in the lamp. All this was provided generously by donors the medical missionaries may never meet.  

The team decided to travel to small desert villages where they could distribute the lamps inconspicuously. Delighted to have their physical needs met with medical care, and a solar-chargeable lamp, the hearts of the villagers opened to hear about Jesus. They gladly listened to the audio adaptations of the JESUS film and the Bible. 

The medical team became bearers of some much-needed physical light that would chase away darkness, but also bearers of the eternal Light that would pierce the spiritual darkness in each home. 

Because of volatile conditions within this country, Christians must be careful how and when they share the gospel. But because of the heroic involvement of supporters like you, the medical teams build relationships with the families they visit and point them to Jesus, knowing gospel seeds will take root and people will come to Christ.

[1] The Arabic word for “daddy.”

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