Thursday, August 18

Gospel Victory in Algeria!

Algeria vs USA 2010 World Cup Soccer

From Spirit of Martyrdom website.

Before 1985, there were no Christians for 1200 years in Algeria. Saint Augustine and others were from this region of Africa, but by the 900s Islam wiped out Christianity. In 1985, a group of amateur soccer players from Switzerland vacationed to the Kabylie region, Algeria. The Swiss asked if their local soccer team wanted to play in a scrimmage. The team agreed but said their best player was  really sick and asked if the Swiss had any medicine. The Swiss did not have medicine but offered to pray. When the Swiss prayed for the Algerian player, they asked that “our Father in heaven” heal him. The player was instantly healed. The rest of the Algerian soccer team was amazed and intrigued. “Who is this Father you pray to and how does he heal?” they asked.  In the Qur’an there is no title of “Father” for Allah, so their curiosity caused them to further question what the Swiss were talking about. The Swiss explained to them the gospel. All 11 soccer players received faith in Christ and right away told others about their experience. The Algerian soccer players began to pray for the physical needs of others and many were healed. This event began the modern-day revival in Algeria which has grown to over 100,000 Christians in the past 26 years. The truly amazing miracle about all of this is that these men and women had no knowledge of Christ.  It was two years later in 1987 that the first French Bible and then Arabic Bible were given to these new believers. This year marks the completion of the first Berber Bible in history (which is their native language.)

However, this enormous growth did not come without persecution. One of the soccer players tried to share his new faith with his family and they did not want to hear it. They beat him and his life was threatened. For 7 years, he was on the move until 1992 when his family asked him to come back to the village. The risk of visiting his home village was very high; but God had other plans for him.  The village elders grilled him about his Christian faith. The wisdom of his answers impressed the elders and after their discussion the elders simply walked away. In due time, his family came to faith in Christ.
God is adding Muslims to faith in Christ like never before in history. God invites us to have a part of this work with prayers and a bold witness of faith. Every Muslim background believer is a persecuted believer. If the Algerian believers can be bold in their faith, we encourage you to be bold in your prayers and faith here in America. In these last two weeks of our Algerian Freedom campaign, we ask you to persevere in prayer and this week to share the situation of Christians in Algeria with one other person.

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