Compiled by Alliance Life staff
Each summer, Alliance international workers return to the States to worship together and prepare for their home assignments. As they gather that week, they share stories of their work among lost, suffering, and overlooked peoples in some of the world’s most spiritually desolate places. Below are some of these stories.
Timidity Turned to Confidence
Africans are natural-born storytellers, so for the last few years we’ve been telling Bible stories and training African believers to tell them as well. One day we did a Bible story training in a rural Bible school. The church where we trained them was lopsided, with one side full of women and the other side with only a few rows of men. The women were so timid, and they hardly said anything with the men in the room.
We were teaching them simple stories—Jesus calming the storm, healing the bleeding woman—and we had a time to share testimonies. One of the young student pastors said, “I know this is a good thing to learn because last year my wife had this training, and she started telling Bible stories to people who visited our home. I thought it was silly and told her to stop telling Bible stories because they just needed to learn doctrine and read their Bibles. But she continued to tell the stories and led two men in our village to the Lord.”
Bible storying is effective. Even in their timid nature and lack of schooling, these women have learned to tell Bible stories with confidence and have led people to the Lord.
— by an Alliance international worker serving in West Africa
Beaming with Joy
Right before COVID-19, we had the opportunity to be at a birthday party for a young mother, Karla*. After we had cake and sang, Karla’s husband, Daniel, asked, “Would you please share blessings with my wife?” All the believers around the room spoke blessings over Karla, and she started crying. “Don’t worry,” Daniel said. “She’s not crying because she’s sad—she’s crying out of happiness because you brought us Jesus, and it’s made all the difference in her life.”
I will never forget Daniel’s face just beaming with the joy of that new love in Christ. We have the opportunity to see lots more people who need the love of Jesus.
— by an Alliance international worker serving in North and Central Asia
Bravery from the Holy Spirit
Let me tell you two stories from our first term. The first day started like any other. I went about my morning routine and got on the bus. About halfway to school, I saw a line of fire up ahead. The bus stopped. The next thing I knew armed men with assault rifles were banging on the bus, shooting in the air. Th bus driver turned around as quickly as he could, rushing back home.
A few months later, two weeks before Christmas, 15 students were sitting on our living room floor. One of them stood up and said, “Can you tell us what happens at Christmas?” There I sat in front of a bunch of kids, reading them the Christmas story and telling them about Jesus and His birth.
What great stories! I wish they were mine. Those are the stories of my four-year-old daughter.
People ask us why we return to a place where we face danger, where our home was destroyed in an explosion, where we have threats against our lives, where we face opposition to a new church plant.
We go because we see the seeds of the gospel moving forward, not just in our city but in our own family. We are followers of Christ to the ends of the earth—and with our very lives if necessary. So we will go back to our field with the bravery, faith, and courage that can come only from the Holy Spirit.
— by an Alliance international worker serving in the Middle East
I was running down one side of the river near our home in the early morning when I saw a group of young men circled around another man who was writhing on the ground. My first reaction as a woman in the dark was to move to the other side of the river. But God was saying, “Go and pray for that guy.”
I was literally shaking from fear. But I walked up to this group of men and asked, “Can I pray for him?”
His friends agreed, so my heart still racing, I got down on the ground and put my hand on his shoulder. I prayed a very simple prayer—”In Jesus’ name, be gone.” And the man just dropped, totally limp. All the young men circled around him were stunned and said, “Thank you so much.” Still shaking, I said, “This had absolutely nothing to do with me. There is someone who we both know in our faiths called Jesus and He is the One who heals, and if you ever have anything that you need to come and talk about, we live just down this road.”
We don’t know the end of the story for these young men, but God is doing some amazing things in our region. We just praise God for His healing and how He works through His Word.
— by an Alliance international worker serving in Asia/Pacific
While Prima, an immigrant from North Africa, was in graduate school in England, she heard the gospel for the first time and immediately raised her hand to receive Christ. Shortly after, Prima found herself in my city in France, never having been discipled, while the world was shutting down with the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020.
Coming out of lockdown, Prima was spiritually hungry. She had been given a Bible, but no one had ever told her how to pray, how to hear God’s voice, how to experience freedom from sin, or how to forgive. I met Prima at the international church in our city, and we started meeting regularly on the phone and in person. She applied everything I told her and started telling her friends about how they could experience freedom if they forgave the people in their lives who had wronged them.
We invited Prima to a home group in our house, where she met another believer from her home country and city for the first time. Knowing a sister in Christ from her home city reassured Prima that God cared about her.
As she heard about baptism that afternoon, Prima decided she wanted her new family in Christ to bear witness to her faith before she moved to yet another city. We had the privilege to baptize her in her backyard in a little purple pool soon after.
— by an Alliance international worker serving in France
God has hand-placed Alliance workers in some of the most spiritually desolate areas of the world. To support these and other Alliance workers in their ministries, please consider a gift to the Alliance Year-End Offering. Click here to give!