Unlikely brotherhood

Nadeem* could have been justified in disliking – perhaps even hating – the Faithful Witness family. They were foreigners, Christians, and had been given a piece of Nadeem’s land without his consent.

But in this West African region, where more than 90 per cent of people have not been reached with the gospel, God is doing something remarkable. His law of love and his gospel of peace are drawing the unreached into encounters with Faithful Witness teams.
Yakouba* and wife Mariama* began visiting Nadeem’s rural village last year. They stayed in a guest house across from his home and were pleasantly surprised when their Muslim neighbour kept showing up and trying to befriend them.
“I’d walk over to his house and sit down with him,” recalls Yakouba. “He was so open and warm, even giving us a pumpkin he’d grown for his family. I said to myself, ‘Wow, this man is so generous.’ The next time we visited the village, I brought things for him.”
Yakouba helped Nadeem buy medication and food for the family. He could sense God’s anointing and continued to build the relationship.
Nadeem confessed that, at first, he had been upset with Yakouba and Mariama, who had been working on a water installation in the area.
They had approached the villagers and asked for some land to build a property. As is customary in this region, the villagers offered up a piece of Nadeem’s land, but didn’t discuss their decision with him.
When Nadeem learned his land had gone to the Christians who had brought safe, clean water to his people, his spirit softened.
Yakouba says, “He was happy to let us use the land. We believe that is because Christ came into it.”
Yakouba and Mariama had to leave the area for several months for the birth of their new baby, but were thrilled to find Nadeem eagerly awaiting their return. He immediately brought Yakouba to his farm and gave him some grain. “When I saw how happy he was, I felt God tell me to go to his house because he was so excited to receive us,” Yakouba says.
The men talked for two hours and Nadeem revealed how he had lost one of his daughters to a mysterious illness.
Yakouba asked Nadeem if he was prepared for his own death. Nadeem answered: “No, I don’t know where I’m going.”
When Yakouba asked if he realised there were answers to his questions about death, Nadeem replied, “Yes, and I believe you have the answers.”
Yakouba shared the gospel and another of Nadeem’s daughters, who was serving them tea. She nodded as she listened.
“There and then Nadeem was ready,” says Yakouba. “I thought he’d need to think about it but no, he was ready to accept Christ. He spoke to his wife and prayed.”
Yakouba noticed a protective charm hanging around Nadeem’s neck and told him it was time to burn it. The new brothers in Christ set the charm on fire and welcomed the protective power of the Holy Spirit.
The next time Yakouba visited, they prayed together. Yakouba says, “[Nadeem] said I shouldn’t have any concern. He knows what he has done, and he is a Christian. He only needs us to pray for him to withstand persecution. Once his people know he’s a Christian, they’ll abandon him.”
Mariama wants to speak with Nadeem’s daughter. If she accepts Christ, her mother may well do so, too. Nadeem is the second-known believer in his tribe. Let us rejoice at God’s perfect plan for his life.

–Amy Bareham Chapman

• For Nadeem’s wife and daughter. Ask for the truth of the gospel to saturate their hearts and minds.
• For protection and provision for Nadeem and his family.
• For revival in those parts of West Africa where Christ is least known.

*Names changed