Ruth: Faith and Courage
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“During the training, the Lord spoke to me. He gave me the name of a village we were to go to. I had never heard of it before and did not know the place.”
Ruth* is a church planter in Nigeria, trained through a local Global Disciples partner program. Outreach is an important part of the training—going to communities to share the Good News of Jesus with those who have yet to hear it.
Ruth took along two other newly-equipped disciple-makers and, following the Lord’s direction, went in search of this specific village. It took some work; they traveled a long distance, asking people they met along the way. Eventually they located this community.
“I did not know the place,” Ruth said, but she quickly learned. This settlement in northeast Nigeria is predominantly peasant farmers, with a literacy rate of zero. And 98% Muslim.
“When we arrived in the village, God gave us a man of peace who accepted us,” Ruth reported. “We stayed there, and the next day we began one-on-one evangelism. The results were awesome. Eight Muslims put their faith in Jesus Christ, and four others who were neither Christian nor Muslim all became Christians!”
What an exciting start!
However, they were soon challenged as they discipled these new believers. Spiritual attacks—like sickness, evil dreams, and misunderstandings among the church planters—came quickly. “But God helped us recognize them for what they are,” Ruth said.
One Muslim woman gave her life to Christ—when her husband found out, he immediately divorced her, leaving her alone and without support. Families of the other new disciples began to persecute them as well.
“We learned they were marked to be killed,” Ruth reported, “So we relocated them to another city for further discipleship. This caused an uproar and the Muslim community threatened to kill all the church planters if the new disciples were not returned to the village.”
The new believers did not come back right away; in fact, they participated in the discipleship-mission training that Ruth was part of. Despite threats to their lives and daily opposition, Ruth and her small team have stayed on, continuing to share the Good News of Jesus within this hostile region. Ruth stands firm in her conviction that God placed them there, and they rest in the knowledge that He will do the work He has promised.
Ruth is one of many disciples of Jesus—women and men alike—who demonstrate tremendous courage in order to hear, obey, and faithfully follow the Lord’s direction, reaching least-reached people with the Good News of Jesus.
*Names are changed for their protection
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