About the Author: [Names have been changed for security reasons] Hugo and Martina have been working in North Africa since 2004. They are originally from South America. Previously, for 15 years, they worked in the real estate business and planting churches in South America. In 2002, they received a call from God to work among Muslims. In 2003, while Hugo and Martina and their son Daniel were preparing in the USA to go to work in North Africa with Team Expansion, they encountered ZPC who decided to support them as missionaries. Hugo and Martina are currently serving in North Africa (in a closed access Muslim country) and for security reasons cannot disclose their exact location. As a team they hope to start a church-planting movement by training up local leaders to be disciples who multiply themselves. Hugo and Martina focus on sharing the Gospel with Muslims who are open and walking them through scripture so that they can learn who Christ is and what he has done for them. During the discipleship process, they help new believers become Christ followers who reach their family and community to become leaders. Their hope and prayer is to see churches started all across the region.
Today’s Scripture: John 4:1-42
This entire exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman should never have happened. Jews did not mingle with Samaritans. Men did not have private conversations with women. And yet, here it is – the beginning of the breaking down of barriers that Jesus fought for and continues to fight for today. Jesus did not see Samaritan or female – Jesus saw a child of God every bit as deserving of his time and attention as any other.
Our text gives us some help in being the kind of witness that God uses from an unlikely source: A woman who is a brand new convert, who is still living with a man outside of marriage, who knows almost no sound doctrine, and who has not had a training course in how to share her faith. Yet she effectively evangelizes her entire village for Christ!
When Jesus tells her that he is the Messiah (4:26), she gets so excited that she leaves her water pot, goes back to her village, and tells the men, who normally would have laughed at anything she said (4:29), “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” As a result, they streamed out of the city to meet Jesus. They invited him to stay with them. He spent two days there, during which time many more Samaritans came to believe in him. At the end of that time, they proclaimed (4:42b), “This One is indeed the Savior of the world.” This narrative teaches us that God uses witnesses who are excited about Jesus, have a harvest perspective, and invite others to come to him.
Activities during the pandemic:
During this time my wife and I have had daily times of quality Bible study as well as prayer, which have helped to refresh us in the vision of the work in North Africa.
We also have worked through WhatsApps, Facebook, and Zoom with the nearly 100 contacts we have in our system. Within those contacts we have 10 groups of families that continue to develop as churches. We also have nearly 40 people of peace who are sharing and studying the Bible with family and friends. It has been a blessing to be able to continue discipleship with the leaders of these groups, who are continuing to lead Discovery Bible Studies with their wives and children. Because of the confinement due to COVID-19, they have had more time to study with their families. We thank God that he has allowed these families to continue to grow spiritually and that they are putting into practice what they are learning from the Bible. Abdel is one of the leaders who leads a house church and he has been in contact with four new families with whom they have been sharing about Jesus.
We appreciate your prayers as we seek to advance the Kingdom of God in a difficult place. Please pray for new churches to be planted, for new believers’ faith to grow in the midst of persecution, and for God to rise up more leaders to take the Gospel into the towns and villages where people have never heard. Thank you for partnering with us!