I just knew I had to go “next door.”
Every other Sunday there is an English speaking church service at the SIL compound in the capital city (N’Djamena) about a forty minute drive from here. Since I take call every other weekend, I may get a chance to go once a month.
About 80-100 people attend these services. Most are fellow missionaries. We look forward to these Sundays, to corporate worship, to the message and the fellowship. Usually, there are a couple of curbside medical consults that I don’t mind doing. Then we go out for lunch.
So when I felt no desire to go to the SIL service the morning of February 25th, but rather to attend the humble little church recently planted in the Christian school next to our hospital, I didn’t quite understand. I just knew I had to go “next door.”
The “school church”
The “school church” was started about three months ago as the spin-off of an evangelical campaign here at the hospital by an evangelical church from N’Djamena.
There was a good turn out for the several evangelistic meetings, not by Muslims, but mainly by southerners who have recently moved to this area who were looking for a church home.
I was asked if this new church could hold services in one of the hospital buildings. I decided against this as I do not feel our security system is ready for extra challenges now. Besides, our ministry is about getting unreached Muslims saved for the Lord, not starting traditional churches.
I found out later that the director of the school next door gave permission to the evangelists to have Sunday meetings in one of the classrooms. I decided to attend a service and was impressed how solid the sermon was.
There is essentially no human security system there. The front gate is open.
We are in the process of reorganizing this school and hope to improve security. In the meantime, the Lord is protecting.
A Sister In Christ and In Crisis
Today I was the only white person there jammed into a rather small classroom with about forty adults and fifteen children, with no lights nor fans. There was, however, an abundance of flies.
My attention was drawn to a figure sitting in front of me, a female, but I could not tell more than that as her head, neck, and upper body was covered with black material.
After the sermon, our hospital chaplain’s wife shared that the lady in black is a recent convert from Islam. She said the young lady was saved at a Christian school far from here and her family insisted that she return to Islam. She refused to turn her back on Her Savior and the abuse and persecution started.
All her possessions, including her clothes, were taken from her and her family started planning her death. The details were not shared but somehow she escaped and is now living with a family of believers somewhere.
Her family is searching her to kill her.
Now it is very clear why the Holy Spirit tugged at me to attend “next door church” this morning!!
Pray for “Fatime”
First, pray that she will stay strong in her faith and love for Jesus.
Pray that the rest of her family will also become believers.
And pray for wisdom and courage for those who will help her during this time of persecution.
I also see more clearly the value of the next door church and my devotion to Christian school is reinforced.