May 4, 2021
The Bantu peoples of Africa—more than 350 million of them—speak hundreds of different versions of Bantu languages in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Among the many challenges the Somali Bantu living in Ohio face is the lack of a Bible in their language. But that doesn’t stop Christians from serving them.
“We started laboring to share Jesus Christ with the Somali Bantu refugees 15 years ago,” said one believer. “As a minority group from remote villages in Somalia, they had never been to school. They resettled in the United States and struggled with basic literacy, finding jobs, and more.
“Night and day, we lived out the incarnational Word of God by helping them and praying with them in the name of Jesus at every opportunity. Hundreds of them had watched the Jesus video and listened to our message.”
Some Bantu responded, saying “God answered your prayers,” or “Jesus healed me,” or “I saw Jesus in my dream. He’s so beautiful.” But only a few actually believed and prayed to Jesus, bravely facing threats from family members.
“I cannot say the name Jesus, or Allah will punish me,” said one young adult. “It feels like something will choke me.”
The slowness of the work caused many volunteers to leave, while the remaining workers felt alone and weary. But Luke told believers to “Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers” (Luke 10:2).
“That’s what we did, and boom! In 2020, our struggling local prayer team of three grew beyond 10. God raised up more young, passionate workers who are fasting and prayer walking weekly, teaching leadership skills to Bantu youth and leading discovery Bible studies.
Some of the Bantu have experienced divine dreams and visions, and another young man accepted Jesus. Now, there are three followers of Christ from a Muslim background.”
Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send even more workers!
- Ask God to strengthen the secret believers’ faith and to give them courage and wisdom to share Jesus with their people (Eph. 6:18-19).
- Pray that the Somali Bantu can read or hear the Word of God in their own language and believe (Romans 10:14).
- Ask God to open the hearts of Bantu men and women so they respond to the message of Jesus (Acts 16:14).
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