The Samaritans: Sharing the Gospel with Those Who Hate Us | Persecution

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The Samaritans: Sharing the Gospel with Those Who Hate Us

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 who 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.

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06/04/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)Acts of persecution and discrimination against Christians could not stop his calling. After praying and seeking godly advice for 11 years, Pastor G. (name hidden for security) finally moved to northeastern Kenya in 1997. Mandera, where Pastor G. felt called to, is heavily populated by Somalis and is primarily Muslim. Over the next 23 years, his mission in Mandera would result in the opening of several churches, the salvation of Muslims, and a prayer mission inside Somalia, the home of terror group al-Shabaab. This journey was far from easy though.

Pastor G. was determined to serve God by sharing the Gospel with the Muslim community in Mandera even though it was difficult. He left his home village in Meru county with his wife and two children, who were 7 and 3 years old. According to Pastor G., serving the Lord has been challenging, but worth it. He told International Christian Concern (ICC), “God called me to go to Mandera for His glory. What I have been able to achieve is because He enabled me. He did it. Serving God amongst hostile communities is a great sacrifice. I have seen Mandera grow from tiny village centers to main shopping centers. However, the growth of Christianity has been very slow due to the threats facing the Christian minority group.”

To make sure that the Gospel of Christ reaches the Muslim community in Mandera, Pastor G. has learned to adapt. “The first thing to do is to understand the local Islamic culture in their context. Failure to study the Muslim devout leads to frustration to those who get in expecting instant results. It takes time to integrate with the community as you anticipate for converts in the future. You have to love people even if they hate you. You have to eat and drink with them if you truly want to bring [them] into the kingdom.” He is setting an excellent example of how a Christian leader should act and the kind of attitude he should have towards people who don’t believe in God. He understands that every person is made in the image of God and needs to be respected and loved.

As Pastor G. gets older, he believes joyfully in his heart that when the Lord takes him or transfers him to another community of people, he would leave behind a great army of faithful men who shall carry on with the work of evangelism to Muslims. He expressed, “I have trained several pastors on how to witness to the Muslims. We have a good number of underground evangelists that have led many Somali Muslims to Christ. Our heart’s desire is to see many more Muslims coming to the personal knowledge of Christ our Savior. My next mission is to enter Somalia and reach radical Muslims as well.”

Though they continue to be faithful to their calling, Pastor G. and the other evangelists in this area understand that they could be hurt or even killed at any moment. “We have faced many challenges in this huge task of preaching the Gospel to a highly resistant group that likes religious arguments and debates. They have attacked me several times, one time burning our church compound perimeter wall in an attempt to scare us from our worship services. Sometimes, they insult us in public, claiming that we are wasting time and no single Muslim would become a Christian through our work.” Although the number of Christians has not been increasing rapidly, it is still important to keep preaching the word of God. In this case, Pastor G. is a courageous Christian leader who doesn’t give up serving the Lord despite the safety concerns.

If you would like to partner with ICC in spreading the Gospel in some of the hardest to reach areas, please consider praying for the men and women who are acting as God’s hands and feet. Also, please consider helping those who are serving the lost by giving to ICC’s Messengers Fund.

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