The Samaritans: Sharing the Gospel with Those Who Hate Us – Part 2
By Nathan Johnson
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
When Christ calls His disciples to be witnesses to Jerusalem and Judea, He is telling them to take the gospel to their family and friends. When He says to take it to the ends of the earth, Jesus is telling them to take the Gospel to everyone that they do not know. So why does Christ mention Samaria? It is because not only are we called as Christians to love those who love us (Jerusalem) and those who we do not know (ends of the earth), but we are also called to love our enemies and tell them about the love of Christ.
In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 of this series here.
04/24/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Pastor Bernard Baya pastors a church located in the heart of Muslim-dominated Mpeketoni town, in the coastal region of Kenya. His first encounter with reaching out to the Muslims with the Gospel of Jesus Christ was in 2013 when he was posted in Witu area by the district church council. He recalls the moment, “This was not easy for me and my family because we had to build a friendship with them. I started by a campaign to collect clothes and foodstuffs from the church and friends. These would enable me to distribute to the Muslims, especially on Friday, when they observe their Zakat. At first, I was introducing myself as a community worker and an agricultural extension office.”
Baya has got basic training in Muslim evangelism which is a vital requirement for pastors serving in Lamu County. Lamu was introduced to Islam as early as the 14th century due to its trade link between the African inland and the Indian Ocean Arabic markets. Being a Christian in Lamu attracts hate and threats from the Muslim community, but this has not prevented Baya from reaching them with the Gospel.
“I have seen Muslims coming to Christ and faithfully remaining in Him. Once they come out from Islam, they become bold witnesses of Christ and faithful church members. Currently, we have four families that I can confidently say that they have converted to Christianity. At first, they were facing many challenges from their relatives but now they have settled and are serving Christ.” reported Baya.
In addition, Baya says, “Recently, I witnessed to a young Muslim man who eventually gave his life to Christ. He is staying with one of our missionaries for discipleship. This is a praise report.”
Some of the Muslim background believers Baya has helped have become very instrumental in the body of Christ. He said that “One of the MBBs has been employed by a Bible translation center to develop literature for the Boni people, a Muslim pastoralist group that is ranked among the most hostile people towards Christians.”
Many pastors in Lamu are scared of engaging in Muslim evangelism due to the dangers that come with it. Having a church that understands the mission to Muslims gives the pastor a lot of encouragement.
“Alone, our efforts would be fruitless, leading to frustration and burn out. Apart from lack of training in preaching to Muslims, many pastors fear being attacked physically or even poisoned. They also fear the burden of supporting MBBs who might be cast out of their families. My church has been very supportive of my mission of bringing the gospel to the Muslims. They donate a lot of material things to cater to MBBs, and even helping in paying school fees.” He said.
“Let me finish up by sharing about two very recent cases of conversion.” Baya continued. “With the help of our local church, we have been able to assist a mother of four in Tana River who was chased away by her husband for converting to Christianity in January this year. We have been collecting funds, clothes, and food for her family of five and some women in our church have also been visiting her.”
“The other one is about Yasin Bakari who converted to Christ in March through my personal evangelism ministry in Mpeketoni town. I have already relocated him to my rural home in another county for the sake of his safety.” Baya concluded.
Through faithful men and women like Pastor Baya, our Modern day Samaritan brothers and sisters are able to hear the Good News of Christ. These evangelists live on the front lines of our Spiritual warfare and are willing to risk everything for the souls of those who are trapped in other beliefs. Please consider helping those who are serving the lost by partnering with ICC and our Messengers Fund.