Twelve Christian fellowships met this past week in a Muslim dominated town in Western South Asia to break bread together and be encouraged by their leader, “Joseph”, who had introduced most of them to Christ. A few days later, four masked gunmen in uniforms burst into Joseph’s home, took him outside, and shot him dead.
Joseph has worked in this area for many years to reach his people so that they, too, would know the Messiah that he so loved. Excited about the future and getting the Word of God to every person, Joseph boldly shared his faith with anyone who would listen. With a team, they have already distributed nearly 500,000 Bibles and over 100,000 JESUS movies to the people of his region. Following the teaching of Christ in an area where many live in great poverty, Joseph also helped by getting clean drinking water brought in, medical and dental services, and distributing solar lights to tens of thousands living in darkness without electricity.
As Christianity has spread across this region in the last 20 years, so has religious persecution. Although the ruling government is secular, religious groups frequently oppose one another, sometimes violently. Just three years ago, Joseph experienced this firsthand when a group of Muslim militants burst into his classroom, confiscating their Bibles, notes, and personal identifications. He was then arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned. When told to sign a letter recanting his faith, he refused. Instead, he shared the gospel in the jail until he was released.
During his imprisonment, Joseph meditated and spoke on Hebrews chapter 11 that tells of the tremendous faith of the saints of old during trials and tribulations. Pray for Joseph’s wife and three children and these twelve young Christian fellowships that are now fatherless. Pray to our heavenly Father for the remaining believers to continue to keep their faith, be strong, and demonstrate the love of God to those around them. Pray for the different religious groups in this region to live in peace.
Please consider a memorial gift to help fulfill Joseph’s dream of sharing the Gospel and distributing the Word of God to all of this very unreached area. To send donations, click here to go to our “Give” page. We will ensure that your donation goes directly to help his co-laborers to spread the message of the love of Christ in this region.