Gospel has reached imam at Sahara's edge

WESTERN EUROPE (BP)--It wasn't a question Dave Webber* expected inside a remote mosque on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

"What is the difference between a mosque like this and a church?" Khalid* asked.

The Southern Baptist worker knew an open door when he saw it.

"I just shared with him, standing there in the mosque, the story of Jesus Christ and [how He was] crucified as the sacrifice for our sins," Webber said.

Khalid turned out to be one of the imams at the mosque and was excited to meet someone who spoke knowledgeably about Christianity. He invited Webber into his office to continue their conversation.

"I have a gift for you," Khalid said at the end of their visit. He presented a large, ornate copy of the Quran.

Webber decided he needed to return the favor. During his next trip to the area, he stopped by Khalid's mosque with a "big, beautiful, leather-bound Bible" written in Arabic.

"Is this the whole thing?" Khalid asked, gazing intently at the gift. "Is this the whole Holy Book of the Christians?"

"Yes," Webber answered, somewhat confused. Khalid persisted. "Is this the first part and the second part?"

A light suddenly clicked on in Webber's head.

"Oh! Yes, this is the Old Testament and the New Testament," he answered.

"Very good," Khalid replied. He leaned forward and added in a hushed voice, "Because I already have a little green one."

At that moment, Webber said he understood the power of Project Northern Lights. Someone in Khalid's family had passed through one of Europe's seaports and received one of the Gospel packets Southern Baptists distribute.

"So this man, who lived and worked in one of the largest, most remote mosques in North Africa, already had one of the 'little green ones' -- the New Testaments we give out," Webber said.

"That's how important this project is. The Gospel is going out to some of the most isolated areas of North Africa, and God is using it among people that we would think are the most unlikely to accept it."


*Name changed. Don Graham is a writer for the International Mission Board. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions help pay for the printing of the New Testaments, as well as provide support to Southern Baptist personnel around the world. Learn more about Project Northern Lights by calling the International Mission Board at 1-800-999-3113.

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