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By Andy*

I was immediately struck by a blast of Sahara heat as I stepped out of the door after my Royal Air Maroc flight.

There was no doubt I was back in western Africa. Thankfully I soon found Napthali* Project managers Carl* and Faith* patiently waiting outside the airport for me. The three of us enjoyed a blessed week together praying, planning, and meeting with several important leaders, such as the city’s mayor and the American ambassador.

The mayor is a friendly, kind man who befriended my wife, Nancy, and me in 1993 when we first arrived to serve in this desert Muslim country. We have had many discussions with him about truth and the Messiah, Jesus (Isa). Although he has not yet come to faith, we are trusting that the mayor and his whole family will soon.

In 2007 Nancy and I initiated a nutrition and education project serving in a poor community that covers a large residential area in the capital city of about 45,000 people. Many malnourished children and their families heard the Gospel for the first time and felt God’s love through the followers of Christ who served them. Because of the success of the project, the malnutrition rate dropped from 50 percent to less than 15 percent. The mayor encouraged Nancy and me to begin a new, similar nutrition and education project in the same area. This new project will be called the “Naphtali Nutrition and Education Project.”

Malnourished children and their families receive nutrition education.

Malnourished children and their families receive nutrition education.

Please join me in praying and believing that the following verses will be fulfilled by the power of God’s Spirit in this community for His Glory: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali … The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned” (Matthew 4:15, 16, NKJV).

One afternoon during this recent trip, I met with the Naphtali health committee in the courtyard of the local Non-Governmental Agency (NGO). They were very positive and encouraged that the project would begin this September in their community. They are willing to support the training team in any way they can. God also provided the operating funds for the first two years of this project through another NGO. When one of the committee members heard my African name, Abdullahi, which means “slave of God” in the local language, she asked me, “Are you a Muslim?” This gave me the opportunity to respond, “I am a follower of Isa (Jesus), the Messiah, and may His Name be praised.”

Throughout my trip I experienced God’s timing of events, and many doors of opportunity were opened. As Carl, Faith, and I headed to a new park in the city, I spotted a good friend at a busy intersection and stopped to greet her. She was surprised to see me and immediately asked about Nancy, who had discipled her for several years. We had baptized her in our bathtub.

As we enjoyed the beautiful park, I recognized another lady, Hannah.* A few days earlier I had been thinking that it would be good to try to contact her as she is a believer and has worked in the area of nutrition in the same needy community we are targeting for the new project. This was another divine appointment!

Through the Naphtali Project many hear the Gospel for the first time.

Through the Naphtali Project many hear the Gospel for the first time.

Before leaving North Africa, I met with Hannah a second time and rejoiced as she spoke of her faith in Christ and told us about the small fellowship of women that meet with her each week. As is typical, because of her faith in Christ, Hannah struggles to find employment and provide for her children. Please pray that she will be able to serve on the Naphtali team and that God would meet her needs and continue to use her to make disciples in this city.

When I left my African home city a few days later, my heart was full of joy. I marveled and praised God for the amazing adventure He had given me. My prayer is that the Spirit of God will sweep across western Africa like a mighty sandstorm and that many will come to know the Messiah, Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life. My hope is that the mayor and many others in Naphtali will come to know our loving, heavenly Father, who desires that none perish but all come to Him.

*Not their real names. Real names withheld for security purposes.

unnamed-Missionarie-AvatarAndy, along with his wife, Nancy, are Open Bible missionaries serving in a predominately Muslim country in western Africa. Their last names and photos are withheld for security purposes.

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