God works even in the darkest places, like Afghanistan, where Christians who were once Muslims are compelled by the love of God to risk all to share the Good News with others. The power of God's love to transform lives is seen in other areas where Islam is predominant as well.
Through Call of Hope's Goat Project in Northern Nigeria, an area known for Boko Haram attacks, children from their co-workers' families, and local families who had become Christians, receive goats to raise. When the goats have kids, they sell the baby goats to raise the needed funds for school fees and supplies.
When the local Muslim leaders came to the director and asked if they could also receive goats for their children as well, his first thought was to say, "No way." These leaders had killed his oldest son and continually persecuted his family and the other Christians.
But the Lord gave him no peace with that decision. "He understood that if he was going to talk about love, he needed to show love," says Call of Hope U.S. President, Stefano Fehr. After this, the Call of Hope workers began giving the female goats to the Muslim children. "This changed everything," Stefano explains. "People began coming to church because of the love they had seen."
This type of unconditional love for the lost is something Stefano grew up with. Call of Hope International, based now in Germany, was founded in 1904, and Stefano's father served as General Director when he was young boy.
"I actually grew up in our mission headquarters," he recalls, explaining how indigenous workers from Muslim backgrounds were often sitting at their dining table. "The Lord touched my heart for missions work as I heard about the issues they faced each day. But I was especially touched by their faithfulness."
Today, Call of Hope works in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa—including the currently volatile country of Afghanistan. "It has always been an extremely difficult place to share your faith," he says. "One of our brothers there told me, 'Before I give out a booklet [track], I first talk to somebody for many hours, I pray for days, and then I might decide to give an evangelistic booklet—because if I give it to the wrong person, I'll be dead.'"
Still, even in the midst of the ongoing challenges exacerbated by the current situation, believers serving in Afghanistan are standing strong.
"I'm in contact with our brother there who has young unmarried daughters. We don't know what is going to happen with them, with the Taliban going from door to door," Stefano says. "When our brother yesterday wrote to me and said, 'Yes, it's terrible, but I feel that you all are praying for us ...' I myself was somehow comforted."
He continues: "God has not forgotten Afghanistan. We believe that strongly. Even if we don't know what the future or the next weeks will bring, we know that the Lord is also with this country."
To hear more about the work of Call of Hope and the current crisis in Afghanistan, listen to this week's episode of A Word in Season with Doug Stringer & Friends.
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