Jesus Film Project reports from North Africa/Middle East:
Beth, a Cru® staff member, felt a pang in her heart as she read the email from Aisha. A resident of a country in the Arabian Gulf, the young woman hungered for love. She had problems with her husband. She had attempted suicide. She couldn’t find love in her religion, yet she wanted to know more about God. She wondered if the love she desperately needed could be found in Christ.
Aisha discovered one of Cru’s evangelistic websites through a Google search, and after getting connected with Beth via email, she and Beth started chatting in real time. Over the course of three months, the two women messaged each other every day on WhatsApp. God enabled Beth to answer Aisha’s toughest questions. Aisha asked if God loved her and if He would accept her in spite of her many problems. As Beth answered, she focused on the truth: God is the only reliable source for love. People around us don’t love us all the time, but God always does.
Beth didn’t immediately ask Aisha if she wanted to accept Jesus into her life, instead giving Aisha time to come to the point of decision. After three months, Aisha made a clear profession of faith and told Beth, “I love Jesus so much!”
Online Ministry Requires Follow-up
Beth encouraged Aisha to watch the JESUS film. Aisha did so, and afterwards she asked Beth about the parts of the film she couldn’t understand. This was the critical step. The movie opened the door to follow-up questions, allowing Beth to connect with Aisha on a deeper level.
When Aisha said she wanted to read the Bible, Beth encouraged her to read God’s Word online. Aisha started by reading the Gospel of John. After a month, she said she wanted a printed Bible. Beth knew possessing a Bible would be too dangerous in Aisha’s country. But she and Aisha put the request in God’s hands. Praying together, the women asked the Lord to provide Aisha with a hard copy of the book she had grown to love.
God Multiplies and Provides
As part of a four-part online discipleship course, Beth encouraged Aisha to tell others about Jesus. So, Aisha shared the good news with her brother. After two months, he accepted Christ. Over the course of a year, Aisha told eight people about Jesus!
Aisha also started two discipleship groups at Beth’s prompting. With a focus on spiritual multiplication, the groups studied the Bible together, and the members helped one another to grow in their faith. Two of the eight new believers also began actively sharing the gospel with family and friends.
Recently Beth received an email from Aisha. Unlike Beth’s very first email from Aisha, this message was bursting with joy. God had answered her prayer! An anonymous gift box containing Christian books and a Bible had arrived in the mail. Aisha was happy and surprised because this was God’s response to her prayer. Aisha continues to walk with the Lord, sharing her faith in Christ and discipling others who need His love.
In North Africa and the Middle East, staff members like Beth have trained more than 800 Arab believers to share their faith online. These laborers of the harvest use digital tools to help seekers like Aisha to know the one true God, accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, and grow as His disciples.