Mosques, like this one in Chad, are reminders of the prevalent Islamic culture in Africa.         (Photo by Dan Breen)

New ministry development

By Dr. Greg Kuiper

“…with the help of our God we dared to tell you His Gospel in the face of strong opposition” 1 Thess 2:2b

Most of us have never met someone who openly states they are willing to die for their commitment to Jesus Christ.

Recently, I was at a conference with Christian health professionals who are willing to do that in one of the most difficult areas of the world — the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa.

Nearly 400 of these dedicated Christians met in the Sahara Desert in an undisclosed location (for security reasons) to mentor and encourage one another on how to bring light to this spiritually dark region of the world. They shared strategies on how to share the Gospel in the workplace within Muslim cultures that are intolerant to Christianity. Several attendees expressed guilt for not yet being ready to give up their life or career for Christ, but came to the conference seeking tools and assurance to attain that level of commitment.

I was especially humbled by the testimony of a fifth-year medical student from Morocco who left Islam and gave her life to Jesus. She was forced to leave her home and country when her family and friends disowned her. But when all foreign health workers were later expelled from this Islamic state, she felt called to return to Morocco to provide medical services. She knew she would be persecuted for making this decision but returned anyway.

Shortly after coming back, her mother informed the police of her departure from Islam. She was brought to the police station, interrogated, beaten and burned repeatedly with hot cigarettes. She was later released but is prohibited from finishing her studies to become a licensed physician.

She carries no resentment and continues to be influential by teaching part time in a nursing school.

In Sudan, the government has seized several church buildings and converted them to mosques, adding further insult by confiscating 70 percent of the assets of all Christian churches.

By God’s grace, a Christian clinic in Jordan has remained open in spite of ongoing threats from ISIS to close or physically destroy the clinic.

Again, I am reminded that in these trying circumstances, the Luke Society model for medical ministry is one that works and can be sustained. Our godly ministry directors are nationals who understand these cultural risks and are best equipped to share the Gospel “in the face of strong opposition.” Several new contacts from this challenging region warrant further evaluation.

As the spiritual battle escalates globally, we confidently proclaim our Savior’s ultimate victory. But until that day comes, the Luke Society is called to faithfully equip these courageous servants on the front line.

Please engage in this battle with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Luke Society only moves forward with new partnerships when convicted of God’s good and perfect timing. A response fund of $35,000 will allow prompt support when new partners emerge from this embattled region of God’s Kingdom.

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New ministry development

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      Luke Society
      3409 S. Gateway Blvd
      Sioux Falls, SD 57106