Difficult does not mean impossible
By Anonymous pastor | North Africa in África del Norte
SIM’s Faithful Witness project works in partnership with multiple ministry initiatives and denominations in different African regions, to bring the gospel to those who are living and dying without Christ in North Africa. One such initiative, Go North, seeks to mobilise university students into North Africa, sharing the good news of Christ to some of the least reached people in Africa.
Students reaching students
In North Africa, like other parts of the world, we may face danger when we choose to serve God openly. But someone will have to take a risk in order to bring the gospel to North Africa (NA). The time has come for the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) Church to join the movement to send workers to minister to NA.
Many are praying that they will see the Great Commission fulfilled in NA, especially through the South to North Africa Movement. I strongly believe that God will send those who are willing to obey from the South, to share the good news with one of the least-reached parts of the continent.
Every day SSA students have the opportunity to spend time with NA students. They have fun together and discuss a variety of topics, including religion. Every year, a number of SSA students accept the Lord Jesus, after hearing the testimonies of fellow students. Likewise, we hope to see more and more students from a Muslim background accept Jesus as their Lord.
For most SSA students, they only realise their ability to make an impact for the gospel after several years in NA. Unfortunately, that is exactly around when they are preparing to return to their home countries. So our vision is to train and prepare SSA Christian students to serve God from the beginning of their time in NA. Currently, very few Christian workers serve among our university students in this discipling work. So it’s not surprising that we see very few people come to faith. However, well-equipped SSA students can help change this.
Strategically, SSA students enjoy easy access to NA. The low cost for university studies attracts more and more students, in private schools and vocational training. Obtaining a visa can be difficult for many, but is relatively easy for SSA students. It’s an open door for university students who have a valid visa. Additionally, SSA students generally connect well with other students, regardless of cultural background.
"At the end of the journey, SSA students are likely to return to their home countries with renewed concern for those who are living and dying without knowing Jesus Christ."
However, there are still bridges to cross in culture, language and majority religion. Strategically, many SSA students come from French-speaking countries, so this transfers well to some contexts in NA where French is widely understood.
Focusing on youth means equipping a generation of future leaders for churches, the private sector, and public and governmental institutions. By investing our time, energy and resources on young people, we anticipate a positive impact on the local churches and the nations in NA. And of course, at the end of the journey, SSA students are likely to return to their home countries with renewed concern for those who are living and dying without knowing Jesus Christ.
It’s time for a movement from South to North! Let’s work hand in hand, trusting that God will bless our efforts. We now see that it’s possible for SSA Christian students to go to NA, share the gospel and lead other students to Jesus. But the most important thing is not what we know, but what we do with what we know.
Pray with us
• Pray for the Go North vision.
• Pray that God will send Christians (both regional and from overseas) who can train and mentor SSA students in North Africa in sharing their faith.
• Pray about getting involved in mobilising SSA churches to pray, send and give or support churches directly in NA.
• Pray for funds for SSA Christian students’ scholarships.
This article was adapted from SIM's AfriGo magazine and was written by a pastor from Sub-Saharan Africa, who has lived in North Africa for 16 years.