Hebrews 2:10 “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
“Micah” has struggled in his faith and has experienced tremendous loss over the past several years. He has deceived and betrayed many of the Christians that have helped him through the years. He has endured tremendous hardships including losing several jobs, losing two infant children, and constant tension and sickness within his family. At times, Micah has sought repentance and re-dedicated his life to the Lord, but often, he slides back into familiar sin struggles.
The entire country of Niger slows during Ramadan as most do not possess the strength to engage in physical labor, and it is easier to endure the denial of food by sleeping through the afternoon.
Last year during Ramadan, “Seb,” a Tuareg welder, asked a Christian friend, “Is it better to eat so that I can work and provide for my family, or should I fast and not have the sustenance to work and therefore allow my family to go hungry? Which decision honors God?”
Seb seems to recognize that the God of the Bible is the One True God and he earnestly seeks out Christians and pleads with them to pray for him.
“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.” Psalm 18:35
Mahmoud is a young man from Upper Egypt whose family lives in a small village. When he was eight years old, he was sent to Cairo to work to help the family. On his first visit to Cairo, he met his uncle, for whom he was going to work. His uncle put him to work all day and as the day ended, he thought he would go home with his uncle to his family. Instead, his uncle locked him in a dark room above his suit factory. Mahmoud was afraid and sat in a corner with his legs pulled up against his chest and arms wrapped tightly around them. He sat up crying all night, and all he could see was some light coming through holes in the roof that illuminated the rats crawling around the rafters. He would finally sleep as the sun came up, then his uncle would open the door and let him out to work another twelve hours.
When Mahmoud returned home, he was so traumatized he fell asleep on his mat on the floor of his family’s home. He slept for a week with his mom unable to wake him except for putting small amounts of food in his mouth. At the end of the week, his father took him to the imam who told the family he had evil spirits in him. He charged the family a larger amount of money and wrote some Koranic verses on special paper, placed it in water to dissolve, and had him drink it. This was the start of a life of traveling and working to help support his family till he finally moved full-time to Cairo at age 14 to work. He found no hope for his life and he sought help from Islam, but he was told he just needed to pray 5 times a day.
Hope came one day when someone shared the Good News with Mahmoud in the café where he was working. A relationship was formed and at one point a New Testament was given to him. Conversations about Jesus took place often and he told his father about it. On a visit to see his family, the father took the New Testament and began reading it. Mahmoud continued working to help his sisters be able to get married and his younger brother go to university. His uncles abused him so much that he decided to move to another country to find a job and he has been blessed greatly by this move. Conversations continue, hope grows, he is now reading the Bible and he is moving to where he can overcome the bondage of Islam and embrace the freedom that comes with Jesus.
Pray for Mahmoud to reach the point in his life where he gives his life over to Jesus. Pray for the masses, who are held in the grip of cultural traditions and the bondage of Islam, to find hope and freedom in Jesus Christ.
Use these resources to help pray specifically each day.
God, we love you! As your Church, help us do what it takes to let the people of Niger grasp the Good News that Jesus knowingly took one step after another toward Jerusalem knowing He would be condemned to death, mocked, flogged, crucified and then be raised on the third day! (Matthew 20:19)Read
God, we love you! As your Church, help us do what it takes to let the people of Niger grasp the Good News that Jesus' cross was the one place in the world's history in which your Father's justice AND mercy were simultaneously fulfilled as He was marred beyond human semblance, despised, rejected, sorrowful, acquainted with grief, smitten, afflicted, pierced, crushed, chastised, and anguished (Isaiah 52-53) so that WE don't have to be.Read