Stories of Impact
From Impossible Places
In March, I returned from a visit working with our teams on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Friend, there is no way to quantify the carnage happening to the church in Afghanistan right now. Virtually every Afghan refugee has a story of an immediate family member being killed by the Taliban. Tales of utter brutality were the norm - not the exception - all for following Jesus! Imagine being grateful that your husband was killed by a bullet and not a “slow death”, as the Taliban is known to do, watching your daughter stoned to death for her faith, or being restrained while your wife and daughters are beheaded because they had identification on them showing they were a Christian when their bus was stopped by the Taliban.
One day, a woman and her adult son walked more than 20 kilometers to see our team. They had heard we might be near them and wanted to meet. They, like so many others, had lost family members because of their faith. Yet they asked for more Treasures, in Dari, so they could share the Word of God with others in their community and their country. They begged me:
“Please, our country is lost without Jesus. We don’t know Jesus. Please send us more Treasures so we can share with others about Jesus. Even if we die doing so, it will be worth it because we are all lost without him. They don’t know!”
In that brief moment I asked myself, would I have that same response? I knew we could not turn our backs on them. See friends, in Afghanistan, there is no such thing as a lukewarm Christian. They are on fire for the Gospel of Jesus, and they have to be because the cost can literally be their lives. In Afghanistan, a country of 40 million people, only 0.02% are Christians.
69 of 71 different people groups have never had access to Jesus. No Bible. No Missionary. No Pastor. Jesus is not known there. Jesus says in Matthew 16:24-25, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me… and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.” That is a real life and death situation in Afghanistan. We must stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ to make Jesus known there.
At that moment, when that woman and adult son turned to me, imploring me to send more Treasures so that their countrymen could be saved, they pressed something into my hand. It was the equivalent of $10 of American money that had been collected over the course of a month from the underground church in Afghanistan. That was literally and figuratively the widow’s mite.
In Afghanistan, the cost to follow Jesus can literally be your life. The next day, through our team, we learned the woman had been captured for sharing her faith. This precious woman was now in the hands of someone who had the ability to rape her, punish her, stone her, kill her. Yet, the story doesn’t end there. Using her words and her Treasure, the woman talked to her captor about Jesus. For more than six hours, as he imprisoned her, she testified about her God.
After six hours, her captor came to know Jesus and released her. Praise Jesus! To God be the Glory!
In the Harvest,
Greg Kelley, CEO
Your support lets us share the Treasure of the Gospel one person at a time.