Submitted by a Global Partners missionary* living among the Fotizo People in the Turkic-Arabic Area

Two years ago, I received a message from Omar* describing the persecution that he was facing from his family and friends. At that time he was very new in his faith and had boldly shared his new faith with those closest to him. With much sadness and discouragement, he went on to ask, “What if I die before I have a chance to tell other people about Jesus just as you have done?”

In a culture that highly values family, this places him in a very lonely and vulnerable position. In many cases family connections are necessary for employment, housing, getting married, and more. Most all of life connects back to family and friends.

Our prayer much of this time has been for God to use Omar to impact others and to multiply disciples through him without taking him away from his social network. We have also prayed that God would raise up a fellowship around Omar so he could be strengthened.

There were moments that I wondered if Omar would be like the seed in the parable that fell on rocky soil lasting a short time and then falling away when persecution comes. Through this time we sought to hold onto God’s promises to bless those who are persecuted and to provide the right answers. We also continued to pray that God would transform those who seemed so resistant.

Just a few month ago, Omar shared a nugget of truth with a few guys to see how they would respond. Much to his surprise, they didn’t resist or push the truth away but showed genuine interest in learning the Bible. Their openness led to more sharing and an invitation by Omar to begin reading the Bible together. Praise God for faithfully moving in the heart of other people around him!

God is working by drawing others to himself. Omar is now leading five other guys in a Bible study each week! It gets better. . . He has two to three additional guys who have also shown interest in learning more. Our conversations about holding onto God’s promises and encouraging one another have transitioned. Now we have been discussing what their times look like and how to help the Bible study embrace more characteristics of a reproducible movement of churches.

This is just a glimpse of what we are trusting God to do through ordinary people like Omar who are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the spark of a movement.

Above Picture: iStock.com/Aivita

*Names omitted or changed for security reasons.