West Africa: A seed planted by radio

West Africa: A seed planted by radio

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When a man named Tazeem was listening to the radio one day, he heard a Christian share the gospel in his own language.

The message was about God’s love for people, forgiveness in Jesus and the power of prayer, and it deeply encouraged him. He wanted to know more, but never found the radio broadcast again. Nevertheless, he started to share the message he had heard with others in his village.

On one of those occasions he met an elderly woman who sometimes would sing praise songs to God. This was not common in a Muslim community. When she heard Tazeem share the message he had heard on the radio she smiled broadly and said: “So now there are two of us here, and you can worship God together with me. From now on you are my son!”

Neither Tazeem nor his new friend owned a Bible. But the woman – whom he affectionately referred to as ‘Old Mother’ – had learned some of the chronological storytelling from a brief exposure to church planters in another community. The two of them began working together to share what they knew of God’s Word with their friends and neighbors. They had a very simple message: “Come to Jesus. This is the right way. Just come!”

One day, the mother of the sheikh in the town began to manifest demonic spirits. She was taken to the witch doctors, and then to the Muslim marabouts who read the Qur’an to her, but to no avail. In a brief moment of lucidity she exclaimed: “I must go to the home of Old Mother and her boy!” And with that one brief sentence she ran from the sheikh’s home straight to the Christian woman’s house.

The demonized woman, however, was deeply in the clutches of the enemy. The moment she crossed the threshold of the Christian’s home, her body froze and she collapsed helpless on the floor. For eight days she lay on a sleeping mat, unable to move. She did not eat, speak or use the latrine. She was in a fixed position while Tazeem and ‘Old Mother’ prayed. Then suddenly, on the eighth day, the evil spirits left her. She stood up and spoke, and the faithful Christians began to minister to her needs.

Word went throughout the village instantaneously: “The sheikh’s mother is healed! The spirits have been defeated!”

The sheikh heard the news and came running. When he saw his mother eating and in her right mind, he immediately collapsed to his knees and begged Tazeem to teach him about his God. And that day, both the sheikh and his mother became followers of Jesus.

The news spread quickly, and people from the village began to flood the Christian woman’s home, seeking healings and deliverance from evil influences through the power of her God. The little hut looked like an outpatient clinic, a hospital for body and soul.

But the Muslim leaders in the area had also heard about the sheikh’s ‘betrayal of Islam’, and they brought together a committee to deal with him. They armed themselves with spears, knives and guns, and set out to find the Christian sheikh. Luckily, he was warned in time and found sanctuary in the police station. When the police wanted to arrest the murderous party, he stepped forward and said: “Please, do not arrest them. I have already forgiven them! As long as they do me no harm, I do not want to take them before the magistrates.”

Today that former sheikh is planting churches, and those churches are multiplying. In that area of 70 villages, there are now 17 small churches with about 125 new Christians. Persecution is still present, but there is a foothold of the gospel in this challenging place.

Source: Tazeem, interviewed by Jerry Trousdale for his book ‘Miraculous Movements’

Joel News – Inspiring stories on the advance of God’s Kingdom around the globe today, delivered once a week in your mailbox. We cover all continents and serve mission-minded Christians in over 100 nations.

https://www.joelnews.org # 1207,  March 23, 2021

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