Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Radical change to two Christians in Algeria

A forgotten New Testament brings radical change to two Christians in Algeria
We praise you, God,
we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 75:1

Algeria Man

Amir, a young Algerian man, was temporarily staying in an apartment of a friend while recovering from depression. His friend had moved out leaving only a few items behind, but unbeknown to him, he had left behind his most possession, Gods’ Word! “While I was cleaning the apartment, I found a New Testament,” he tells Open Doors. “This New Testament changed my life. I found the Lord Jesus Christ by reading the book.”

In the following months leading into years, he kept reading the Bible. Slowly, his depression lifted and the recovery and healing began to transform his life. Since Amir was always shy and withdrawn, his transformation was not visible to friends. He says, “Nobody actually knew about my healing and my new faith in Jesus Christ.” But he knew that the time had come to step out and to become more active with his faith and with social networks.

One day I was watching Christian satellite TV and I saw the phone number of a Christian in Algeria. I immediately contacted that person and soon afterwards we met, which was great. This brother in Christ brought me in contact with a small group of believers, which I am attending regularly now. Praise to God for His healing and mercy. And thanks to the one who forgot his New Testament in the apartment.”

Safwan, another secret believer in Algeria, has to read various papers, articles, newspapers and magazines as part of his job at work. “One day I found a Christian pamphlet between the paperwork and started reading it,” Safwan tells Open Doors. “My boss wasn’t amused when he saw me with the pamphlet, although it came with all the other paperwork.”

Safwan had become a believer by watching Christian programs on the TV and was careful to keep his faith a secret, but upon discovering him reading the pamphlet, his boss reported him to the police. Later that night the police visited him and searched his entire home. They found Christian CD’s, several Christian movies and a New Testament. “It was clear to them that I had become a Christian.”

“My boss fired me,” Safwan said. “This is causing challenges for me, because no work means no money.” He then added with conviction, “But, with the help of God and my family in Christ, I can manage. Praise to God it is so good to be part of his Kingdom, but please pray for me and my family.”

Open Doors supports secret believers like Amir and Safwan in Algeria. Training is offered to the small underground church in this country, and as often as possible, Open Doors brings Bibles and other Christian literature to believers.

Father, we are amazed at the wonder of Your word! Thank you that it has the power to change hearts, and we thank you for our brothers Amir and Safwan who trust You and live for You in the midst of hardship and secrecy. We pray for protection over their lives, and we ask that You would provide work for Safwan, specifically a position where he will not be persecuted for his faith. We ask that the secret believers in Algeria would constantly be encouraged and building up each other’s faith in the midst of a dark place. Amen

Accross the Muslim world, converting to Christianity from Islam requires real courage. Isolated, shunned and sometimes killed for abandoning their Muslim faith, Christians live with a great need for the support of Bibles, training in leadership, and lasting community development. You can send light to dark places in the Muslim World.

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