"5 years ago, 12 churches in the community were burned to ash."
Meet 'E' (name protected for safety), who lives in a region of Africa that is 99% unreached with the gospel. There are very few believers and churches here. And the few that exist often face persecution... and expect it.
Following Christ is a costly decision here, as it means family rejection, being ostracized from the community, and even physical harm. Watch E's story and be moved by his faith and how God is working in his village through the trials he's faced.
E's Testimony: From persecuting Christians to following Christ
"When I was 7 years old, I used local drugs and drank alcohol. I persecuted believers. I burned Bibles. In the village where I grew up, there were people who had these habits but a few came to know Jesus and stopped doing these things.
An idea came to my mind to stop drinking and chewing. The idea came to me to believe in Jesus. I wanted to leave this life and I wanted to know Jesus.
My whole family was against the new religion I had accepted. They wanted me to leave my faith. They said you cannot live with us and you cannot be with us. I moved away to stay with a friend.
Later, because my father wanted me to turn back to my old faith, he bought me this land. He was trying his best to have him turn back to his Muslim religion."
But E turned it into a house church instead...
"After I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, my mother and brother followed my footsteps and became Christians as well. When my mother became a Christian, my father no longer wanted her. He wanted a divorce because of this.
Two years ago, we began a house church in my home. The police tried to stop every service. They were beating me and hitting me badly when they asked me to stop the worship. I could not stop this.
I have many relatives here in the town. All of them asked me to leave and turn back to Muslim religion. They were nagging and asking me. Terrifying me. Telling me they would burn my house and kill my children and wife.
Our strong response was that Christ that is in my heart I can never change what I believe for anything in this world. When all this happened, I had little or no knowledge of the Bible. Looking back I see that God helped me. Only God."
How Clean Water is Removing Hostility
"When all the churches were burned down, the whole community came together to burn them. Many people lost their lives. Even people in the community were shot. But the followers of this church are very strong in their heart. They are courageous. Without a covered building to meet in, they were worshiping in the flood and the blazing sun."
E's village was in great need of clean water, and two years ago, our local partner worked alongside him and other believers to bring a clean water project here.
"Since the water project was launched, there was no more resistance. So the second time they came to burn the church, the community stood up for the Christians, saying, 'They are doing good.'
This project is bringing the good news to the community."
His Encouragement to American Christians
As we sat across from 'E' in a dark room of his home, asking him questions about his faith, we told him his story will be shared with many American Christians who have never faced persecution like this. What would he say to them?
We leave you with his answer below. Be encouraged by this brother in Christ:
"No matter who you are or what you have, it is only Christ and his teaching that stands to the end. Christians have persecution and challenges no matter who they are.There is only Christ in problem and prosperity."
The Unreached Need in Africa
'E' lives in a large region that is still 99% unreached with the gospel. 1008 of Africa’s 3700 ethnic people groups, most of them Islamic, are still unreached, and have no viable gospel witness. (Source)
In Africa, this totals more than 300 million people, who remain unaware of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Yet only 1% of Christian missions giving is serving the unreached. You can help change this.
neverthirst is actively working in regions that are majority unreached with the gospel and have urgent need for clean water. View opportunities to fund an entire community with clean water and the gospel, starting at $5,000:
- Give household filters to 20 families in DR Congo
- Co-fund a water system for up to 1,500 people in Ethiopia
- Fund a tapstand in the desert of Niger
Every $40 given serves one unreached person. And this year-end, you can help us change 75,000 stories with clean water and the gospel!
Give now and be confident that because of you, communities are being transformed through clean and living water.