Today, we share a testimony from Forum Wiedenest, a Christian charity which aims to carry God’s love into the world and support Christian communities. This story tells of a Muslim refugee in Germany, who worked as an imam, but who found Christ! Achmed* is now a fruitful disciple-maker in Germany. His story is a miracle. Originally, he was sent out as an imam from an Asian country to start new mosques in Europe. He worked in a European capital and was successful over the years in planting two mosques. But he became more and more dissatisfied with his own religion. He experienced Christians totally differently than he was told about at home. As he was searching for truth and talked with a lot of people, the biggest change happened in his life when he had two dreams about Jesus. These were so powerful that he went to church, got a Bible and became a follower of Christ. Back in his country of origin his family became very upset about his change of religion, as his father is a well-known mullah. His relatives hired a murderer who tried to kill him three times. But Achmed survived all attempts and later fled as a refugee to Germany. Even here radical Muslims tried to kill him in a refugee home when he shared the gospel. He recovered after two weeks of intensive care in hospital and was welcomed by a German church to be their guest. For three years he worked in a restaurant to earn a living and faithfully went to church services like other Christians do. But then the Lord spoke to him again: ‘Achmed, what is your real calling? Have I called you just to fill a seat in a church on Sunday mornings? What are you doing with your talents?’ He remembered the times when he was planting mosques. And then he felt the calling of the Lord to become a church planter. But there was a challenge: refugees move around the country even after receiving asylum. Many churches were lamenting: ‘We invested so much time in reaching out to refugees, they even were baptised and came to church, but now they are gone. And we as a church don’t see the fruit of our work.’ But then the Lord spoke to him again: ‘Achmed, what is your real calling?' Achmed got an idea: if refugees don’t come to church, the church needs to come to them. He started a project called ‘the moving church’.* His perspective is that any refugee as a new follower of Christ, when he moves to another city, can become a bridgehead at that place for a new church plant. He also faced the challenge that quite a number of refugees are repatriated to their countries of origin, like Afghanistan or Iran. When they have experienced the common way of church life in Germany, they will think that if a church needs a building and a congregation of 50 to 100 people, then they can’t [...]
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An isolated island 400 kilometres from the coast of East Africa, Madagascar suffers from poverty and the majority of people practise old folk religions. This story comes from Bright Hope World, a Christian-based humanitarian organisation working in partnership with indigenous people, which has a vision to see the poorest of the poor become spiritually and physically self-sustaining. Sonia’s mother was 15 years old when Sonia* was born. She has four sisters and four brothers. Her father’s third wife is younger than her. She grew up in a little village in the south of the country. At 14 years of age Sonia was married. Her husband involved her in witchcraft and she began to suffer with demon possession. She had constant visions of demons in her head and this blurred her vision. Sometimes they struck her down and threw her to the ground. She became fearful and always had to have someone with her for protection. Then, one day a team of Christians visited her village and she heard a woman share her testimony. This was the first time she had heard about God. She wanted to know more and soon became a Christian. When she told her husband she did not want to be involved with witchcraft any more he became very angry. He had given the witchdoctor a lot of money over an extended period of time. But, despite her husband’s anger, Sonia threw away the necklace-charm the witchdoctor had given her, and her life changed completely. Her bad dreams ceased. This was the first time she had heard about God. She wanted to know more and soon became a Christian. At first Sonia’s husband was supportive, but he became hostile as she was constantly sharing the gospel. Frustrated, he told her he had married her to look after him and then returned her to her parents. They welcomed her home and were very thankful she was healed and not with her husband’s family who had been persecuting her. Sonia now stays in town with the Christian team and is completing an internship with them. She makes regular visits back to her village to share what God is doing in her life and teaching her through the Scripture that she loves. Her 15-year-old brother now leads the small study Bible study in the village. Sonia has been taking sewing classes and would like to own a sewing machine so she could start her own business. She is so happy to be free and wants many more to come to Jesus. *name changed to protect identity Pray: for people in rural areas, like Sonia, to hear about the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ for growing churches to disciple young people in biblical truths for the leadership of the country to help lift their country out of poverty.