'The Christians will come'
By Chelsea and Ryan | Niger in west-africa
Representative stock image.
“We will no longer come to your home and will not attend any of your family events.” For new Christians, statements of social rejection like this become all too familiar. And in Nigerien society where community holds the highest value, social rejection is particularly painful. This was the case for our new brother Moussa*.
After some of Ryan’s local disciple-making partners visited Moussa’s village, he and his entire family wanted to follow the King. He quickly started sharing the good news with his friends and neighbours. As quick as he was to share this life-changing message, his persecution came just as swiftly. But even as a brand-new believer, his experience with other Christians had shown him the type of love he could expect from his new spiritual community.
“That’s okay, the Christians will come,” Moussa said immediately in response to condemnation.
All of this happened while Moussa’s wife was eight months pregnant with their fifth child. As is customary after a child is born, the family planned to throw a large celebration to which all neighbours and friends from near and far would come and visit.
When his new child was born and the day of the celebration arrived, the Christians did as Moussa expected. They came. Not just a few, and not just the ones who knew him, but over 75 Christians travelled 45 minutes or more through rough desert terrain to support their new brother and sister. They even supplied the food and materials to support this celebration.
In all there were over 200 people in attendance, including many of his non-Christian friends who were still willing to associate with him. Knowing that many in attendance were not believers, Moussa invited several from his new spiritual family to stand up and share the good news with everyone around. For many, this was their first exposure to the gospel.
After the celebration ended, many people came to Moussa and said that after hearing this message and seeing the immense love expressed by the Christians, they too wanted to learn how to follow Jesus. Moussa, who was the first believer ever in his village, became a doorway to salvation for those around him.
• For the many new believers to grow in their knowledge and love for the Lord.
• For wisdom in how best to disciple new believers and how best to get audio Bibles to them.
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