All Nations, Tribes, People, and Languages
Don and I had the privilege this morning of watching a daughter in the faith baptized, a public confession of her faith in Jesus Christ.
I am encouraged as I watch what God is doing, here in America and around the world.
This week I’ve been especially challenged by two articles in the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) magazine. I confess I have my prejudices. I don’t want them, but they are there. So often I’ve thought of people in third-world countries who can’t read as being less intelligent than me. And yet, I just read about two men who upend that stereotype with their faith and outreach to thousands in the name of Jesus.
Bahmin, a Tuareg, was in prison in the Sahara Desert for three years for his participation in a crime. No windows, just openings in the walls.
Then a group of men came into the prison. They installed windows in the openings, put fans in every cell, cleaned the bathrooms and even brought in a TV for the prisoners. These men were not associated with the prison. They were Christians who came to serve. Then they came on Sundays to share the gospel.
Bahmin says that before they even spoke about Jesus he was open to the good news of salvation because he saw their love in action. After his release, he studied with a pastor, led his family to Christ and then many of his relatives.
“The truth I discovered is about Jesus,” he told them plainly. “He is the way. He is the light. Whoever does not follow Him cannot meet God.” (VOM, March 2022/Vol 56 No 3, p 7). (From the Gospel of John 14:6).
Mahmud, a Fulani, moved away from Niger because he didn’t want to be involved with a Christian missionary there. Twenty years later he returned to Niger and finally requested help from another missionary to enroll his eleven children in school. Soon he and his family committed their lives to Christ. His wife had already become a believer, but had been afraid to tell Mahmud for fear of being beaten.
Mahmud lived and worked alongside the missionary for the next sixteen years and, as his children became adults, five of them joined their father in sharing the gospel with the Fulani. They teach groups that are often more than 100 at a time. Since many Fulani are unable to read, they begin their presentation playing a section of an audio Bible, teach, then leave the audio Bible and return later to answer questions.
These men have a goal of reaching all the Tuareg and Fulani tribes for Jesus. Both have led hundreds to Christ over the past years. Bahmin, his son and cousin have established 33 churches in three years.
Bahmin and Mahmud are committed to sharing the gospel, whatever the cost. They have experienced some persecution and tell new believers to expect it. “If Christ Himself was persecuted, it is natural [that his followers will be persecuted]”, said Mahmud.
These stories remind me that God is at work both here in America and around the world. One day all men will acknowledge Jesus Christ, the sacrificial lamb, as Lord. As scripture tells us,
I’m so glad for these men who teach about Jesus in countries far from where I live. God’s Word transcends language and culture. Where I have the benefit of education and literacy, they have the benefit of realizing in a very deep way that only through Jesus can they have peace and the hope of eternity.
I’m reminded of a trip we took to Israel. Several in our group wanted to be baptized in the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized. They had sectioned off areas for the individual groups. One one side I heard praise songs in English; on another, in an Asian language and still another, in rich, deep African voices. And I thought “This is a little taste of heaven.”
God bless you, Bahram, Mahmud and your families. We’ll celebrate together in heaven for all eternity.