Tanzania (MNN) — Today, John* is a Christian training director and Gospel minister in Tanzania with Global Disciples. But before he came to Christ, John was a devout Muslim and would-be assassin.
Galen** with Global Disciples shares John’s story:
“His experience is amazing. As he grew up Muslim, he went to a Muslim school, graduated from a Muslim university with a degree in Islam and was a lay leader in the mosque and also involved in a respectable job in the community.
“There was a prominent Christian leader who was interested in holding…an evangelistic meeting in the area where [John] lived. He heard about this, and he and a friend of his decided the best way to deal with this was with a plot to kill this Christian leader.”
John prepared a bombing device and went to a location he knew the Christian leader would be for the assassination.
“[John] was ready to set off the device when he felt this powerful punch in the chest from an invisible hand. It knocked him backward and prevented him from igniting the device. Determined to accomplish his mission, he stepped forward to do it again, and again was hit in the chest by this invisible hand. It happened a third time so hard that it knocked him off his feet. He was convinced that if it happened again, it would kill him. So he fled.”
Galen shares, “His friend criticized him for copping out of the plan. But a few days later [John] had…a dream where he was seated across the table from this man in glowing white clothes — so bright, he said, that it was almost impossible to look at him. There were two books on the table. He recognized the one book, [the Koran]; he had grown up studying it. He saw another book there. It was black and it had in Arabic gold letters the words ‘Holy Bible’.
“The man sitting across from [John] in gleaming white clothes lifted up the Koran and placed it to the side and he said, ‘You won’t be needing this anymore.’ Then he lifted up the Bible with both hands and began to hand it to him.”
Eventually, John went back to the house of the Christian leader he plotted to kill. When the man opened the door, John asked to learn more about Jesus.
“Out of his dramatic conversion, he has now been equipping young Muslims coming to faith in Christ to go and share the Good News of Jesus among Muslims in predominantly-Muslim communities across Tanzania and beyond.”
In Tanzania, Global Disciples equips approximately 60-70 church clusters to go into nearby communities that are unreached or least-reached with the Gospel share the hope they have in Christ.
Although over half the population in Tanzania is Christian, there is a solid Islamic presence. Many of the local unreached and least-reached communities are Muslim-majority.
“They move carefully, building relationships,” explains Galen. “Their primary focus is on loving these people where they are and building relationships of trust that allow them to introduce them to Jesus. They are equipping people with small businesses who are using those businesses as a way to support their families and also share their faith with those they come in contact with. So it’s a matter of building relationships, of trust, and sharing the Good News.”
There is still a lot of work to be done in Tanzania for the Great Commission. One thing you can do today is join Tanzanian believers in prayer.
“We welcome people to pray for those groups of churches that are equipping their own people for near-culture evangelism in those areas that are predominantly Muslim — that the Lord will give them favor in relationships, that they will have the courage even in the midst of resistance, and that as new believers come to faith, they will have the wisdom to be able to disciple them and equip them to share their faith with others.”
*Name changed for security purposes.
**Full name omitted for security purposes.