She could not read or write but started 3 churches in 6 months and more discipleship groups.
When Faiza heard her pastor invite the members of his African congregation to attend a seminar to learn how to make disciples and plant churches, she knew instantly that this was exactly what she had been waiting for.
Ever since she had become a Christian, just two years before from a Muslim background, she knew that the Father had something very special in store for he life. She loved being an intercessor, and she could pray for hours, knowing that God Himself was responding to her prayers.
Faiza did not have the chance for the education she wanted, but that did not keep her from developing a shrewd business sense. She easily outsold every other palm oil merchant in the market. She knew how to judge the product, measure the competition, provide simple value-added elements, and win trust with customers, the result of which was an adequate income to meet her needs and share some with others.
Until this moment, she had never had any desire to leave town. But as she heard God speak, she headed directly to the pastor and told him that she wanted to participate in the disciple-making training.
‘Pastor Joseph had never seen her so happy.’
Pastor Joseph was hesitant though, as she didn’t know how to read and write. He told her to pray about it, and if God would tell her to take the training, to come and start.
When Pastor Joseph arrived early at the church for the training, he found Faiza waiting for someone to open the door. He had never seen her so happy. It turned out that God had given her great encouragement when she prayed, and He had even told her where her assignment would be when she finished her training.
Six weeks later she completed the training, and she could hardly wait to tell Pastor Joseph where she was headed – to Jumvulu. “What?” he cried when she told him. “You can’t go there! They will kill you.” But Faize was confident. “God would not lead me to a place that He doesn’t want me to go,” she said.
Joseph relented, and the church prayed for Faiza and dispatched her to Jumvulu, a place where Islam was mixed with a poisonous, unspeakable evil of demonic deeds. As the church said goodbye to Faiza, some people shed tears, for they were sure that they would never see her again due to the danger she faced.
Within two weeks, Faiza had found her place in a new market, making friends, selling palm oil, and looking for a person of peace. And within another two weeks, Faiza found that person of peace and started a Discovery Bible Study with ten people. Within three months of that, Faiza’s group had become a small church. After six months, there were three growing churches in Jumvulu and more Discovery Bible Studies happening. And at that point, Faiza knew that she had done what God had asked her to do. It was time to head for another challenging place.
‘Today people who are unable to read play a key role in the dramatic growth of the church.’
Joseph sent a team to follow up on the miraculous beachhead that had been established by Faiza’s courageous obedience to God. Today, there are 25 churches in that area, and the dark partnership has been broken between the secret orders and Islam; it has been publicly exposed and outlawed. Now other ministries that had been afraid to work in Jumvulu have also joined the efforts, and the gospel message is being spread even more rapidly.
Pastor Joseph realized that people who do not read should be welcomed and accommodated at every level of discipleship training and leadership development. Today people who are unable to read carry responsibility for a high percentage of the dramatic growth happening in more than a thousand churches throughout that ministry.
And Faiza? At 27, she became a national leader of intercessory prayer in her ministry and still sells palm oil and gives away the gospel.
The Book of Acts demonstrates that the work of ministry was largely done by nonprofessional Christians. Several of Jesus’ disciples were humble fishermen. Even Paul appears to have been primarily self-supporting as a tent maker. It is possible that one of the reaons why the Western church of the 21st century struggles to grow is that the DNA has been lost that made up the original disciple making movement, that of ordinary people achieving the impossible in the name of God. That DNA is being recaptured in today’s Disciple Making Movements that are based on empowering every member, regardless of background, as a disciple maker, taking very seriously the final instruction of Jesus to his disciples.
Source: Faiza and Joseph, interviewed by Jerry Trousdale for his book ‘Miraculous Movements’