Into War-Torn Africa
September 27, 2020
By Ray Alary, Thru the Bible-Canada Executive Director
It is a trip I will never forget: Angola on the west coast of southern Africa. A war that had stretched over 20 years had just ended, and it was our first trip into the country’s interior. God wanted to make sure we would never forget it.
The roads into the interior were at times impassable. Our journey of 60 miles took over six hours. We arrived at our first stop very late, just as it was getting dark. “We’ll delay the service until morning,” we thought.
“No way,” the leaders said. “People have been waiting many hours for you to arrive. We will have a service tonight and another one in the morning.”
Traveling with us was Pastor Denis, the producer of the African Portuguese and Umbundu Thru the Bible programs. The crowd had heard him on the radio, and now they were here to meet him in person!
In the services, many shared stories of how Thru the Bible had impacted them. “All through the war when the country was in turmoil, Thru the Bible has been our anchor,” many said.
This village was in the middle of nowhere. No running water, no electricity. Their only connection with the outside world was through a radio.
In this isolated village in the jungle, God’s Word had been heard loud and clear. Even though most had little or no education, the people were grounded in the Word of God. If we had just gone to this one village, that would have been enough for me. But God had more to show us.
Our next stop in the interior was to a village a little more developed, but still no electricity or running water. In this village we met in a church. Many had heard on the radio that we would be there and walked 20 miles or more just to meet Pastor Denis and to be blessed by the Bible training he would do over the next couple of days.
One young man we met had been faithfully listening to Thru the Bible in search of the truth. He asked Pastor Denis many questions, but at the end of the day went away very sad.
We were surprised to see him the second day. And even more surprised when we saw him smiling from ear to ear. He couldn’t even sit still. Pastor Denis asked him if he had something to share, and that one question opened the flood gates.
“I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior,” he said. “I am a new creation, and I want to serve my Savior however God calls me to.”
This one man had a huge impact on me. I often look at the “before” and “after” pictures of him because it shows clearly the impact the gospel has on us. This trip happened several years ago, but the gospel continues to impact people—another one today in another part of the world.
Together with Thru the Bible, we can bring that message of life and hope to someone who would be lost without it.