Going Where There Is No Gospel in Central Asia

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by John Stuart “Julie” is part of a small group hoping to bring the word of God and maybe, one day, the first church among the Central Asian minority we call “Cheuasai”. As Julie watched the dance performance in the town square, a few locals approached. They struck up a conversation in the majority language, intrigued by the foreigner in their midst. Thankfully, Julie had been studying the language for some time and it felt good to speak to them in her limited fluency. She thought it was going well when the conversation took a different turn. “Can you speak our minority language?” one of them asked. Disappointed, Julie admitted that she didn’t know the language. “If you could speak our language, you would be amazing,” he said. In an area where many of the minority people can’t speak the majority language, the simple experience led her again to a powerful … Read More

SIM’s Danja Fistula Center Gives New Hope: International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 2016

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23 May 2016 Salome is the first person in her Nigerien family to attend school. “I came from a very poor family and I have worked hard to say that I’m the best student in my family,” she said. Her determination had twice earned her the top student award in her school. While she excelled in a variety of subjects, it had been her aspiration to become a doctor since primary school. However, these plans got side-tracked in the first year of her secondary school studies. During a school break she went to visit her grandmother’s village. As in customary in some parts of the country, Salome and her sister were subjected to female circumcision by family members. The surgery left lasting physical ailments for Salome, and because of her incontinence and shame she was not able to return to school. “I was crying day to night,” she said. “Crying … Read More

God’s Good Work: Dr. Vandana’s Story

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by Sarah K. Sitting behind the desk in her hospital office, Dr. Vandana points to a faded picture of a mousy girl. The girl’s clothes are slightly too big; they seem to swallow her, like the timidity clinging to her features. “No one wanted to be my friend,” Vandana recalls, laughing ruefully. She regularly failed exams and often found herself on the bench in class reserved for the worst performing students, which didn’t help her shyness. When her parents announced to relatives or neighbors their plans to make her a doctor, Vandana would look for a place to hide. It’s hard to find a trace of that girl as Vandana, now actually a doctor, bustles down one of the hospital’s outdoor corridors, her arms full of papers. She’s moving so quickly that her green dupatta (long scarf) and dark shoulder-length hair flutter out behind her in the morning breeze. It … Read More

My Story: Warren

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The Hat are a Central Asian minority whose Chinese-Islamic heritage and culture distinguishes them from the Majority populations in the countries in which they live. Numbering about 10.6 million, they are descendants of Muslim merchants from Persia and Arabia, as well as Muslim mercenary armies sent to support local dynasties. Pray for workers willing to go among them with humility, vulnerability and respect, helping them to learn how to follow Jesus as Hat.  Two Hat men – Photo courtesy of Tom Thai Warren’s restaurant was across the street from our home. He would often see me cycling around town or heading out to exercise.  One day as we ate in his restaurant Warren asked if he could exercise with me. We started cycling together once a week – sometimes for several hours at a time, followed by refreshments back at his restaurant. As our friendship deepened Warren shared about his … Read More

A Priceless Heritage . . .Because of a Missionary’s Obedience

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Andrew is a missionary today . . . because of missionaries. Andrew Onguka’s grandfather was spiritually lost when missionaries visited his Kenyan village. They shared the gospel and discipled new believers—including his grandfather—and now, three generations later, Andrew himself is a missionary. “I’m fortunate because I was discipled by my grandfather,” Andrew says. “I was able to watch him up close. He was the same person in private and in public. I have a heritage I can’t even put a price tag on.” Today Andrew and his wife Stephanie run OneLife Africa, a discipleship program for young people in Andrew’s native Kenya. They see firsthand why discipleship is essential and cannot be neglected if we want to see lives and communities transformed for Jesus Christ. “Eight-five percent of Kenyans identify as Christians,” Stephanie explains. “They’ve heard the gospel. They’ve been saved ten times! It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impacted the … Read More

When the Holy Spirit intervenes for one lost sheep. . .

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Missionaries may be ministering on the other side of the world, but they are never alone. Jon Banke experienced all the pieces of the SIM missionary community coming together for another believer to be added to the kingdom. The Banke family has ministered for years among the Fulani people in Niger. There, Jon got a glimpse behind the scenes of how God works, revealing just how much it takes for one lost sheep to hear the gospel. Jon met a Christian group in Niger on their way to minister alongside a group of Tuareg believers in a small Tuareg village. They invited Jon to join them. Although he doesn’t speak Tamajaq, Jon agreed to go. The team encountered a Fulani man there—and Jon was the only one on the team who could communicate with him. “This man and I were having a great conversation, getting to know one another. Then … Read More

Muslim Background Believers Now Preach the Gospel

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These courageous Christian workers call themselves the “Eleventh Hour Network” because they know the time is short, but the opportunity to share the gospel with Muslims right now is great! In a long-unreached area of Africa, where Islam controls everything, Christians have suffered intense persecution. Islamic extremists are recruiting youth into the local terrorist group, while moral degradation and immorality in the community are yielding broken and dysfunctional families. Yet here, now, God is powerfully at work! Our Eleventh Hour Network is leading people to faith in Jesus Christ, by the grace of God. More than 50 young adults have joined the Eleventh Hour Network mission team—God is miraculously raising up believers from among the Muslim population to reach their own people. Your prayers and support are providing discipleship and evangelism training, sending them out to preach Jesus. Delivered from the Darkness Our Eleventh Hour Network team was invited by … Read More

SIM and MECO International join hands in the Middle East

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18 March 2016 SIM and MECO International are joining hands in a determined effort to drive the gospel forward as we work with churches and other organizations in the Middle East. The region offers one of the biggest gospel opportunities of our generation and this new initiative will seek to put more workers into Middle East countries. Both SIM and MECO leadership teams believe that together they are far better able to take the good news of Jesus to where he is least known than either could have done individually. Mike Parker, MECO International Director, said, “This is a historic moment for both organisations. “It represents a reaffirmation of our shared commitment to proclaim Christ and make disciples where he is least known, to live out the love of Christ and to partner with churches and other organisations to strengthen Christian witness across the Middle East.” Joshua Bogunjoko, SIM International Director, … Read More

An Open Letter: Hillcrest School Jos, Nigeria

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Hillcrest School Jos, Nigeria I have taught at Hillcrest School for the past 9 years. I began when my youngest of four children started grade 1. I have truly enjoyed teaching at the school for many reasons. Since all four of my children have attended the school, I liked being able to have a say in their education. As a teacher at Hillcrest you are able to be on board appointed committees that make positive changes to the school. I have been a part of several committees that have made changes bettering the school. I also enjoy being able to influence the future of Africa. Because many of our students come from very prominent families, many will become the political and business leaders in the future. Our school is very intentional at putting Christ first in all things. If even some of our students become passionate for Christ and take … Read More