Fatim* and her family live in a village in West Africa that had known only Islam for more than a century—until Resonate Global Mission missionary Gwen* moved in and began sharing the gospel.
Fatim was just 10 years old when Gwen moved into her village. While many families were resistant to Christianity’s new teachings, Fatim’s mother was curious about the newcomer and her faith.
One day, she took Fatim and walked the dusty road to Gwen’s small, mud house in the village. Gwen greeted them, inviting them inside and offering them a cup of water and a mat to sit on—a welcome respite from the heat of the day.
“You spend time with people and get to know them,” said Gwen. “You become a good friend and neighbor .… from the beginning, we lived out our faith. Once we had relationships with people, they were more open to hearing about Jesus.”
With each visit, Fatim and her mother learned more about Jesus. After nearly 10 years, Fatim wanted to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior—but that is just the start of Fatim’s story. Fatim is a mother now, too, and she longs for each member of her family to know the truth.
“[She] is praying that each one of her kids will follow Jesus,” said Gwen.
But there is still a lot of resistance to the gospel in Fatim’s community that makes it difficult for her children. Fatim, two of her children, and her younger brother are now Christians, but the rest of her family members and her children’s friends are committed to their Muslim faith.
Despite Fatim’s fervent prayer, her son Koola* was not following Jesus.
But then God worked through difficult circumstances.
At 10 years old, Koola is bright and driven—but pressure from radical Islamists in his region caused his school to close its doors three years ago.
Fatim helped him as much as she could with reading, but she knew Koola needed to attend formal schooling in order to get a good job in the future. So, when an opportunity for Koola to attend school in a larger city presented itself, Fatim accepted. Both Fatim and Koola were excited—but Fatim was nervous about Koola living away from home.
Koola would be moving from his small village where many faces, if not family or friends, were at least recognizable, to a town of 53,000. He would be walking a paved road to school, rather than a dirt one. He would have to grow accustomed to seeing police officers keeping watch.
“It’s a different world for him,” said Gwen.
God provided a home and community. A pastor who had worked with Gwen was relocated to the same city where Koola would be attending school. The pastor offered to take care of Koola.
“As soon as he arrived he was exposed to Jesus openly and on a daily basis,” said Gwen. “[Koola] has found Christian friends and living with mature followers of Jesus has been wonderful for him. He wanted to follow Jesus too.”
Thank you for supporting Resonate missionaries who are sharing the gospel with people whose families had not known Jesus for centuries. Praise God for faithfully bringing Fatim, Koola, and other members of their family and community into relationship with him. Please pray for their faith to strengthen as they continue to walk with Jesus—and that many more come to know God’s saving grace.
*Names changed for security.
This article was originally published on crcna.org.