Editor’s note: This is the tenth post in a 10-part series that highlights information found in IMB’s Annual Statistical Report. The report is based on 2020 research data. A full copy of the report is available at imb.org/asr.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD — SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN PEOPLES
After repairing a water well and building homes for refugees with special needs in the Resettlement Camp, our team developed a reputation of Christian charity and a willingness to help those in need. Later when fighting broke out in the settlement and several people were killed, the team was positioned to provide Bible-based trauma healing training to those affected by this tragedy. Our team helped people turn to those affected by this tragedy. Our team helped people turn to God in their time of need and find purpose in the suffering and trauma they had experienced. They learned about Joseph and how God used his trials to save others and bring glory to God. A humanitarian entry strategy allowed this team to enter and opened the doors for them to move into evangelism and discipleship. Three churches were planted out of this tragedy.
COVID-19 required us to stay in one place, so we gathered people to tell stories from God’s Word. We videoed the stories and learned as we went. Eventually, we completed a 23-panorama story set of the whole Bible that is now being broadcast on a regional satellite TV station. The exiting part of the process was one of the participants who listened to all the stories. His entire demeanor changed as time went on. So much so, that his family noticed the change. His personal growth through the discipleship of understanding God’s Word was worth the journey.
Healthy Church Formation
As we completed videoing the 23-story panorama, the idea formed to use these same stories with church members. We worked with the local association of 16 churches to train representatives from many of these churches to do the same thing in their churches. It’s exciting to see their engagement and desire to return each week. Most recently, another missionary visited one of the churches and commented on how the stories were being used to revive and improve the Sunday school program through teaching God’s Word.
All data, except for active field personnel and unreached people group counts, reflects information from the 2020 Data-Year Annual Statistical Report (IMB).