Hussein* is one of the most successful evangelists to Muslims in the Horn of Africa region. He has been used by God to change the lives of thousands of Muslims, despite not being a believer from a Muslim background himself. This success though has come at a high price.
“At another point, things became so dangerous that I had to live out in the wild for 21 days” Hussein remembers. “I had no food or water apart from what I could find in the wild. I mostly ate bananas and slept in fox holes. But one night a snake got into a hole with me and I got such a fright I decided to try and go home. That evening as I ate my dinner, Muslims came to kill me. I only escaped because their rushing in spooked the cattle in the compound and caused them to break out and ran off. That gave me the opportunity to get into a big tree to hide. I stayed there all night.”
Hussein is a sober man of few words. His solemn demeanor stems from an earnest commitment to use every opportunity God gives him to share Jesus to the Muslim community. Hussein became a Christian after a teacher shared the gospel with him, and shortly after his schooling felt God calling him into ministry. Open Doors connected with Hussein around this time, paying for him to train as a missionary.
Since then Hussein has worked tirelessly to bring the gospel to Muslims. First, he speaks to them about Christ using references from the Quran. But gradually his conversations move on to discussions from the Bible. Slowly but surely seekers become followers of Christ. Hussein has led hundreds of Muslims to the Lord in this way. “The Lord opened the door for me to receive Open Doors sponsored cross-cultural ministry training. After that I became a missionary to Muslims.”
The persecution Hussein has faced is reminiscent of Paul, from being attacked by the locals to being thrown in jail and beaten.
“Once police arrested me after I preached in town and many people came to faith” Hussein recalls. “They asked me, ‘Why do you disturb the peace like this?’ While they kept me in prison they beat me badly and allowed some of my fellow prisoners to also beat me. They told me, ‘If you don’t leave this town, we will kill you.’”
After his release Hussein decided to leave the town but continued his dangerous ministry elsewhere. The area is well-known for persecution against believers and there was a time when his church was reluctant to back his ministry because they feared that the growing number of converts would antagonize locals even more and lead to increased attacks. Yet he has pressed on and hundreds of people have turned to Christ through his ministry. He has even seen his persecutors come to Jesus.
“In the midst of the challenges the Lord’s protection and encouragement helped me very much. One day a person I was sharing the gospel with told me: ‘I took around $30 as payment to kill you, but I did not succeed. I can see God is with you. I want to follow Jesus too.”
Open Doors has partnered with Hussein in many ways over the years providing a motorcycle for his transportation, the Bible on SD cards, and helping pay his medical bills after his food was deliberately poisoned.
“The motorbike helps me reach people much faster,” Hussein said. “I travel fast and reach many villages and towns in a short period of time. That also protects me against attacks. When I used to travel on foot, it was easy for people to attack me. But now I can quickly travel between points, and avoid people who want to kill me.
“The electronic Bibles also make my ministry smooth. At one point, I was discipling 66 people. I am one person and cannot carry 66 hard copies of the Bible. But I can carry 66 SD cards with me. I gave each one of them a Bible on SD card. When they heard the voice of the gospel, they went back to their home areas and gave it to their family members and friends to listen to. As soon as they heard the Word of God, they believed in Jesus Christ. Those 66 people have since led 230 others to Christ.
“These Bibles on SD cards, on their own are missionaries, because they preach in families and in villages without me being there. The gospel moves smoothly without any hindrance. Without the support from Open Doors my ministry would have been compromised greatly.
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