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[2024 Ramadan Day 19] Spiritual Leadership of early churches, from death to life! Libya/ Algeria


<Libya>

Libya is located in central North Africa, and in 2000 B.C., most of the western part of the Nile in North Africa was called Libya, after a tribe living in eastern Cyrenaica. Libya used to be a trading hub in the Mediterranean, Phoenicia, Osman Türkiye, Italy etc. they had to suffer a long colonial period because of the continuous foreign invasion.   

  

Libya was a place where there was revival of the early churches that overcame the persecution of the Roman Empire after it was incorporated into Rome in 64 BC but has been Islamized since the 7th century AD due to the invasion of the Arab Empire. It's been under the dictatorship of Gaddafi's regime for 42 years since his military coup in 1969. As pro-democracy protests in the Middle East, which began in Tunisia in January 2011, spread throughout Egypt, Yemen, and the to Arab world, a civil revolution to overthrow Gadhafi's dictatorship began in Libya.   

  

Amid the heavy attacks of NATO and anti-government forces, Gadhafi's plan was to present young men as human shields, So many of the young people were killed indiscriminately, and on October 20th , 2011, the death of dictator Gadhafi ended the situation, but there were more than 50,000 casualties. More than 1,700 Islamist militants, including the Maghreb branch in al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, have taken advantage of Libya's lack of security and have taken control to set up training camps; turning young people into Islamic fighters to lead terrorist attacks and caused the civil wars in Libya. Due to long civil war, Libya's main infrastructures have been destroyed and due to difficulties, Libyans continue to flee Libya to take refuge in Europe. Hundreds of people get on an old and small boat to cross the Mediterranean sea, but the sinking boat causes refugees to drown in the Mediterranean Sea, and refugees who have drifted from refugee boats are rescued but sold to the slave market. At the Libyan slave market, African adult male are sold for just $400 and women are traded for sexual slavery, even children are being traded.

On December 5th, 2013, a 33-year-old American young missionary was martyred in Libya. The missionary, who served as an English teacher in Benghazi, the eastern city of Libya, introduced himself as Libya's best friend. On the morning of December 5th, he was shot and killed by a gunman while jogging. And in February 2014, seven Egyptian Christians were killed in the eastern Libyan, in the city of Benghazi. According to witnesses, a man with a gun went to every house, asking if they were Christian or Muslim, and then they dragged the Christians, shooting them in the head and killed them.

  

During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.  God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.  So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. (Exodus 2:23-25)   

  

In the midst of chaos and spiritual darkness, Libyans are exhausted by the long war and desire peace. Through the blood of martyrdom given to the land, there will be a great revival and restoration in Libya. God will receive the blood of martyrs in Libya so that the work of darkness and chaos on this land will come to an end, and God will shine the light of life, and grant the year of Grace.   

  

< Algeria >

Algeria has a population of 45 million, is the 10th largest land in the world, and has big mountains and valleys. But for a long time, foreigners aren't allowed to enter easily, so people who needs to serve cannot go in, and as time passed, even the ministers serving for a long time internally, had to leave, so the footsteps of gospel have stopped.   

  

  

The Algerian government firmly closed the door of Algeria; they have restricted tourists and other foreign visitors, but Even now, God is looking after Algeria, and he's taking care of them.


Despite legal sanctions imposed by the

authorities, there is a great revival in Algerian churches. The number of Christians, which was only around 10,000 in 2008, increased to around 380,000 in 2015, and is expected to reach 500,000, mainly in the northern Berbers tribe. Despite the threat and oppression from the government, they are moving from mountains to houses, so they can worship God. As they experienced change of heart, most of the people coming back, are Muslim background believers. And thankfully, in recent times, the doors to go into Algeria has opened through travel visa.   

  

In June 2021, Angie Saad, an Algerian woman who converted from Islam to Christianity, said, "As the number of Algerian Christians increased, so did the churches. This is not a quotation from an international report published by the European or American Religious Freedom Commission, because I live in this country, and I myself have experienced persecution and oppression before." Also the Algerian church is small, with about 500,000 Christians in total but they proclaimed to commission 1,000 missionaries by 2025.   

  

A couple doing ministry in Algeria, the husband is Algerian and the wife is Malaysian-Chinese. As they have been doing ministry in Algeria for almost 40 years, they are leading many gatherings and many young people are joining this gathering. They were thinking about what to do for the revival of Algeria, and so, they went to Mauritania and in Mauritania, they met with the African church leader pastor. Through the African church leader pastor, they met with Korean ministers, Through this meeting, they were able to share the mission vision and young generation mission movement. They said that this was the kind of young generation mission movement ministry they really wanted to do, and they wanted to participate in mission training and conferences.

  

But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven.  It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. (Deuteronomy 11:11-12)

Hallelujah! The door of the gospel seemed to be firmly closed in Algeria, but the eyes of the Lord was always with Algeria. Although it seems like we cannot see those who will preach the gospel to Algeria, God, the Lord of Algeria, is personally doing new works in Algeria. The enemy considers the church as illegal and interfere with God's work, we proclaim that no darkness can prevent the advancement of the Lord's gospel work.   

  

[Today’s prayer]   

1. God, we believe you hear the groan of the souls in Libya and Algeria, and you remember these nations. You are the ruler of all nations, and will take charge of all the situations in Libya and Algeria, and receive all the history of their pain and sorrow. Open the door to the closed gospel door, and let the Korean churches and world churches unite to serve this nation!

  

2. Libya, who first preached the gospel to the Greeks and opened the door to mission. Lord, please remember Cyrene (Libyan), who carried the cross of Jesus and climbed the hill of Golgotha, let the spirituality of the early churches be restored, and them rise up as army of the holy God, preparing the way for the Lord to return. In this time, as we're running towards the end, wake the Algerian church to spiritually ally with the global churches, and allow them to rise up with the vision of God’s kingdom!

Hozzászólások


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