Miraculous multiplication of faith, food and believers in east Africa

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an underground ALG Church in east Africa

Hydrus*, born and raised in a fanatic Muslim family in eastern Africa, carefully followed all the prescribed rituals of Islam. Unfortunately, poverty, drought and starvation has long afflicted his country and caused tremendous suffering for many—including Hydrus’ own household. While willing to work, like many others, he can simply find no available jobs.

Pastor Abu* of Bibles for Mideast lives and ministers in the area. He lives with his family in a tiny home more resembling a hut, and uses a small shed nearby for local ALG church gatherings. So many attend for Sunday services that they often spill out onto the grounds around the shed.  Most, however, come for the physical food served afterwards rather than any spiritual sustenance.

Undeterred, the church loves to provide the food, and hungry attenders bring along their own plates for the post-service meal. Pastor Abu often uses his own family’s allowance to buy the provisions. 

Despite warnings not to attend from local Muslim leaders, close to 300 would usually show up, plates in hand. Even Islamic devotee Hydrus often attended, as clandestinely as possible, because of the food. He’d hear the gospel message each time of course, but refused to take it seriously. 

Then came the Sunday the area’s poverty and famine had become so severe that Pastor Abu and his church had no meal to serve. With a sorrowful heart he had to report the lack to the hungry people, who began muttering among themselves and against him.  What could he do? While they all trudged away unhappily, tired and feeble Hydrus lay down on the prayer shed floor, too weak to leave.

Pastor Abu noticed him lying there. He had seen the young man receiving food from them many times, but didn't know him personally. He got down on the floor beside him, and helped him sit up so they could talk. Hydrus explained he hadn’t eaten since the last church service.

The pastor went into his home and brought out his own meal for Hydrus. His wife, realizing that would hardly be enough, gave him hers as well.  Even their two young children wanted to share theirs, but he refused to take it. Pastor Abu then noticed the filthy, torn clothes Hydrus wore and gave him a pair of his own clean pants and a shirt.

The family then left Hydrus to rest in the church shed, where he soon fell soundly asleep. As he slept, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared before him.

“I am the bread of life,” he heard Jesus say. “He who comes to me shall never hunger and thirst. For I am from heaven and I give life to the world. Believe in me as your Lord and savior!”

Hydrus stood up immediately. He noticed a bible on the table, went to it and opened to John 6: 33-35—which to his amazement sounded almost word for word what he had just heard Jesus say.

Bible in hand he went off to look for Pastor Abu. He found him with his wife, praying for him in their house. As he shared his experience with them, they praised and thanked the God they had just been praying to. Inviting Hydrus to sit with them, the pastor shared the word of God along with his own testimony of conversion from Islam.

Hydrus knelt down and accepted Jesus Christ into his life as his personal savior and Lord. Full of joy and peace, he didn't want to leave, and asked if he could possibly stay with them. Since their little house had hardly room for themselves, they offered him the prayer shed, which he gladly accepted.

Within a week, Hydrus learned a tremendous amount from and about the word of God, as well as how to pray. That next Sunday, he shared his testimony at the service.

Only about half of those who'd been there the week before came, the remainder certain there'd again be no food. Those who did come heard Hydrus’ testimony, and then listened intently to the Word of God. When the opportunity came, most readily accepted Jesus into their own hearts as Lord and Savior.

A SOMALIAN BOY COLLECTING FIREWOOD; LET’S BE PRAYING HE FINDS HIS WAY TO THE TREE OF LIFE [GETTY IMAGES]

A SOMALIAN BOY COLLECTING FIREWOOD; LET’S BE PRAYING HE FINDS HIS WAY TO THE TREE OF LIFE [GETTY IMAGES]

More miracles

But God had more miracles for His precious African people that day! Again, the pastor and the church had no food to offer them. With sad and heavy hearts they had prayed earnestly before the service for all the help they’d need to get through the day.

The pastor’s wife had filled a small aluminum pot with water and prayerfully put it on her wood-burning stove. She gave Hydrus a packet with about 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of wheat flour in it to add to the pot, which he did, along with his own prayers. He then put the lid back on, and they went to join the others.  

As the service ended, they were amazed to discover the pot full of prepared food much tastier than simple cooked wheat should ever be. Obviously such a small quantity could only, and barely, serve the pastor’s family of five, plus Hydrus. Half the usual congregation still meant there were about 150 hungry mouths out there.

Pastor Abu and his wife decided to share the pot with everyone. He announced this to the people, and tried to calculate how much that would mean for each person. As he began dishing out, he found that whatever he scooped from the pot would immediately be replenished! He praised and thanked the Lord in a loud voice and continued to serve until everyone had enough and was satisfied. All joined in exuberant praise and thanks to the Lord for His love, care and provision.  

From then on, more and more people began coming for services and truly listening to the Word of God. Other Bibles for Mideast pastors, especially those from the Middle East, began sharing their church and ministry offerings with the African church to cover the growing food expenses.

Close to 600 people now attend the worship services. Local Muslim leaders, while upset with the growth of the church, have so far kept quiet because of the food being provided to the hungry.

Please pray for all of them, especially for those who are not yet fully saved, and for the Islamic leaders.

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names changed for security reasons

A Muslim love story: first with Jesus, then each other, and now the world around them

Islamic teacher Davood* worked for years training children in the Koran at a religious school attached to a mosque in Africa. One day, he discovered a student with a gospel tract. Infuriated, he demanded to know where the fellow had gotten it. Someone had handed it to him as he walked to school, the boy explained. Snatching the leaflet from him, Davood warned him to never accept such foolish writings from anyone ever again.

But he held onto the tract, intending to show it to the mosque’s religious leaders. They absolutely must find out who was distributing the literature and, if he had anything to say about, punish them severely.

Since he wasn’t able to meet any of the leaders when school finished, he headed back to his home. Getting ready for bed that night, he again noticed the tract. He might as well see what nonsense they were writing, he figured, and read it through.

When he got to the part about there being “salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved” something—he wasn’t sure what—struck him and stuck in his mind.

That night Jesus—whom Muslims recognize as a great prophet and messenger of God—came to him in a dream.

“I am the way and the truth and the life,” he announced to Davood. “No one comes to the Heavenly Father except through me.”

As morning dawned the Muslim man had another look at the gospel tract, and finding a contact number on the back, called it. Pastor Musthafa with Bibles for Mideast in Africa answered [an earlier story about Pastor Musthafa here: The storms of heaven in Africa: punishment for some, salvation for others]. Soon Davood had many of his questions answered and was led in a prayer to accept Jesus as his personal Savior and Lord.

Meanwhile, in another part of Africa, young Minoo* lived with her parents, seven sisters and four brothers in a poor but fanatically Islamic household. 

“I wanted to go to school and college,” she explains, “but my parents directed me to go to work on farms before I was 12.”  

Because of the heavy labor and intermingling with other workers, she contracted HIV, which developed into full-blown AIDS several years later.

tHE FATE OF MANY EBOLA SUFFERERS [gETTY IMAGES, LIBERIA)

tHE FATE OF MANY EBOLA SUFFERERS [gETTY IMAGES, LIBERIA)

“I was in severe pain, but doctors refused to treat me,” she remembers.  “My friends and relatives were also afraid to visit me.” With no medical treatment, other members of her family also contracted HIV, and then all were infected by the Ebola virus when it later raged though West Africa.

With neighbors refusing to visit or help in any way, and with little to eat and drink, the family began to waste away physically and emotionally. Minoo decided to put an end to her misery.

“I collected some poisonous fruits to end my life,” she explains, but her attempt failed.

Pastors and workers with Bibles for Mideast learned of the sad and dying family, and, ignoring the warnings of others in the community, brought them food and clothes. They also fasted and prayed for three days for the family.

“The Lord Jesus revealed to us to visit the family and pray for them,” Pastor Paul explains, so he and Pastor Musthafa visited, bringing more food and clothes. When neighbors reiterated the warnings of certain death if they went in the home, they stood firm.

“We are going to that house in the name of Jesus Christ, who is the living Lord and Savior and mighty healer,” they told the naysayers. “If it is His will they all will be healed and saved, and you all will see it with your own eyes.”

The pastors found the family to be “like skeleton people,” Pastor Paul recalls. The men knelt down in the power of the Holy Spirit, while some family members gathered in front of them. Minoo and several others lay on their beds, unable to get up.

aS hE DID THEN, HE DOES NOW!

aS hE DID THEN, HE DOES NOW!

When the pastors began praying, “the power of Jesus’ victorious life-giving blood poured out on each in the family like electricity,” Pastor Paul recounts. Screaming, Minoo jumped to her feet and began dancing around.

“Glory to Jesus!” she cried, praising and thanking the Lord. Others stood to their feet, all experiencing the almighty awesomeness of God. They then knelt in His powerful Presence. The pastors shared the gospel with them, and each accepted the Lord Jesus as personal Savior and Lord.

Within days they had recovered their physical health, and grown leaps and bounds spiritually. But new trials began. The Muslim community they lived in insisted they reject their faith in Jesus as Savior, but with new-found strength and boldness, they held on. One night some radical neighbors set fire to their house, intending to kill all of them. The family managed to escape, and fled the region.

Minoo’s strong desire for higher studies finally found fulfillment as she went deep into the Word of God, and with the help of Bibles for Mideast, went on to university.

Before going, she began preparing for baptism with, unknown to her, her future husband—yes, Davood!—as a fellow candidate. They were baptized together by Pastor Musthafa, but only later, while studying at the same university, did they get to really know each other and fall in love.

Davood learned of her unfortunate past but did not let that get in the way of his desire to marry her. Pastor Paul officiated at their marriage and now, several years later, they have a young girl and infant boy. They lead an underground church, as well as evangelize Muslims in their area and distribute bibles. Please pray God’s protection, provision and guidance for this young couple, their church and their ministry … as well as for the ministry of Bibles for Mideast as a whole.

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*names changed for security reasons

Minoo Hussain reported several earlier stories for us: The storms of heaven in Africa: punishment for some, salvation for othersand God restores and redeems: an astounding update of attack on the African church.