Stories

  • Beyond the Veil

    When we see a lady dressed all in black, what comes to our mind? Curiosity? Pity? Nervousness? Fear? Do we harbor a stereotype—that the women under the veil are likely uneducated and oppressed at best or radicalized potential martyrs at worst?

    Recently, my husband and I visited our daughter and son-in-law who work in a conservative Muslim country in the Middle East. Several ladies got together in a local lady’s home for a meal. As is the western habit, my daughter and I arrived on time—earlier than the others. I was eager to see for myself what was beyond the veil.

    What I saw shattered every stereotype I’d ever had! These women, who removed their coverings when they stepped inside, were beautiful with their dark eyes and raven hair. They were stylish in their form fitting designer clothes and stiletto heels. Several had advanced degrees, and most had traveled widely. They did not treat this American with suspicion, but with a warm Arab greeting—kisses on both cheeks.

    There may be women in villages who more closely fit our stereotype. But the women I met are working hard to advance opportunities for all women in their society. Continue reading →

  • God’s Train Gang Preacher – Part 2

    (Read part 1)
    Because he grew up as a homeless boy on the streets, Pascal had a burning desire in his heart to reach other forgotten kids just like him. While in Bible school, he would preach in church and then get up at 2 a.m. and ride the inner city Metro trains of South Africa, and preach to the gangs and homeless kids that hitched rides on the train. Then he would get home by 5 a.m. to get ready for school the next day! Even though these trains were incredibly dangerous at that time of night, Pascal had grown up in that environment so he knew what to watch for and how to stay alive.

    After Bible school, in 2010 Pascal and his new family moved back to his home country of Tanzania, and God led him to work with Youth for Christ (YFC). He worked with that mission organization for seven years and became the Tanzania country director for YFC. God did an incredible work through him. But being the country-wide director also meant most of his time was spent in meetings, traveling, and fundraising, and not much one-on-one interaction with young people, which is where Pascal longed to be. Continue reading →

  • Sudden Silence

    There’s a fire burning deep in the heart of the tropical Peruvian Amazon. What started this fire? God’s Word! The pastor and director of Radio Logos, Jairo Sangama, says, “The Achuar and Quechua believers are experiencing a revival these days!”

    In the early spring of 2017, Radio Logos received 540 SonSet® radios that were distributed to many Achuar and Huampis tribes living in the jungle areas. The people were so happy to receive these radios and hear God’s Word in their own language, but a couple of months after these radios were distributed, there was sudden silence! Radio Logos had gone off the air and could no longer be heard.

    Radio Logos contacted SonSet Solutions, their long-time ministry partner. With Ray Rising of Wycliffe Bible Translators serving as intermediary translator, missionary engineer Mike Axman spent several days troubleshooting from his office at SonSet Solutions with a Peruvian at the station in Peru.  Mike discovered that it was one of the four dipoles in the antenna array that had a problem. His help enabled Radio Logos to get back on the air and resume their broadcasts. A couple of months later there was silence again. Mike was contacted and helped them fix the problem with a burned connection in the transmitter’s power supply. Power was restored, and the gospel could once again be heard. We thank God that we have been able to partner with this station in so many ways, not only by providing SonSet radio receivers, but also technical support and equipment. Continue reading →

  • God’s Train Gang Preacher – Part 1

    Pascal never knew his real dad. And it haunted him. It pursued him. It shaped him.

    Even when his mom remarried, Pascal was not accepted by his stepdad. His childhood memories were not fond ones filled with laughter, love and acceptance. They were years of shame, rejection and agonizing loneliness. The nagging questions of “Why did my dad leave? Why didn’t he love me? What is wrong with me?” haunted him continually. Eventually, the stress of it was more than he could bear.

    At the age of 14, Pascal left home and walked away from it all. Pascal became homeless – nothing more than a nameless dirty face in the streets of the little island of Zanzibar where he grew up. His new life in this dark world was one filled with never-ending hunger, theft, loneliness, and crippling, debilitating fear. Continue reading →

  • Lost, in Every Sense of the Word

    Lost. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as unable to find one’s way, not knowing one’s whereabouts, or denoting something that has been taken away. Radio Joy, a ministry of Joy in the Harvest in Kigoma, Tanzania, is ministering to the lost in every sense of the word.

    Unable to find one’s way: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Those without Christ don’t know the way to salvation, don’t know the way to eternal life, and don’t know the way to living a life that honors God. Radio Joy is helping people find the way through daily Christian programing in English and Swahili to over two million potential listeners.

    Not knowing one’s whereabouts: It is not unusual for children to get separated from their families as they shop in the bustling marketplace. When days pass, and distraught parents still don’t know their child’s whereabouts, they contact Radio Joy. By broadcasting an alert with a description of the child, Radio Joy has been instrumental in the recovery of 11 children so far. Continue reading →

  • Lives Given 100%

    An invitation from SonSet Solutions opened the door for Vince Wilson, a 20-year-old IT specialist and apps programmer to head to Burkina Faso, Africa, as a volunteer worker. SonSet Solutions’ team of five went to help our partner Radio Évangile Développement create a strategy for using mobile devices to increase the reach of their radio station network. Vince went to explore the potential for mobile ministry from a technical standpoint, but God had much more to teach him.

    In a poor country even by West African standards, Vince saw station managers aware of their own personal financial constraints, but entirely given to the work God had called them to. Although they worked a full week, they were not able to receive a full-week’s pay. Most of the staff were not able to receive any kind of remuneration at all but worked as volunteers. Vince recalls, “At times, their eyes showed signs of pain and fear about the future, about being unable to meet the needs of their families, but they chose to put their trust in God. They were 100% given to Christ, and fulfilling His work, and trusting that God would work everything out.” Vince came away understanding that, although the world pushes the pursuit of financial security, and even calls it foolish for those who don’t, giving up everything for Christ is true wisdom. Vince was deeply impacted. “It was an amazing trip!” he said. Continue reading →

  • Losing Life or Limb for Water?

    We simply go to our sinks and turn on a faucet to get our daily supply of drinking water. But what if your daily trek to get this vital resource put you at risk of losing life or limb? This was the grim reality for the few hundred students at Lorubae Primary School in Kenya. Each day before school, the students would walk to a local river to fill a plastic jug with drinking water for the day. In one year two students were killed, two lost limbs, and four others were injured at the river by crocodiles.

    In the fall of 2012, one of our partners, Zoe Waters, installed a clean water well and solar pump system for the school, making clean water safely accessible to the students and the surrounding community. One relieved student exclaimed, “At last we shall not be eaten by the crocodiles!” Continue reading →

  • Emily was Going to Die

    Food. Essential to health. And in a hospital setting, essential to healing. It can make the difference between life and death.

    Emily suffers from epilepsy. During a seizure, she fell into her cooking fire and sustained significant burns to her body. Family rushed her to Pioneer Christian Hospital, a 60-bed facility in Impfondo, Republic of the Congo. Surgeons had to remove most of Emily’s right arm and parts of her left.

    Serving vulnerable populations such as refugees and those suffering from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and leprosy, Pioneer Christian Hospital, like many in the developing world, is strapped for resources and could not provide food for its patients. That was the responsibility of the patient’s care provider, usually a relative. Too often, patients from these transient populations had no one to provide for them, so nutritional support was insufficient or unreliable. Without nourishment, healing was impossible.

    Emily’s family, now hours away from their village, employment, and home, were stressed at the thought of providing for Emily’s needs during a long term stay at the hospital. The hospital staff and missionaries did all they could to assist the family, even providing some money for food for Emily. But Emily wasn’t healing and was becoming more frail by the day. Then it was discovered that her daughter, her supposed care provider, was spending the money on alcohol. Emily, now a burden to her family, was not being fed and was going to die. Continue reading →

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