(Many details have been omitted to protect the identity of the people and location.)
In a sub-Saharan desert country where people live in poverty with a high rate of unemployment and difficult living conditions, Jesus, the Savior of the world, is appearing with His message of deliverance. Many people are reporting having seen Jesus in a dream or vision also with the message of love and forgiveness. These life-changing encounters are happening in remote places, but God is also connecting them with other Christians. These people have peace and joy that they never had in their lives when they followed a false religion … their lives were lived in oppression and spiritual darkness. Once they have the new life in Jesus, they want to share this message with their families and friends.
One hundred percent of the people living in this country are Unreached Peoples (UPGs). About two years ago, a Church of God missionary contacted a leader in a third country, paving the way to build a relationship.
Most recently, a group of indigenous workers were traveling by camel through the deserts to a distant, remote place to tell of the love of Jesus. Anyone who travels by road using the few highways in this nation are frequently stopped, checked, and questioned about their travel. To avoid being detected, stopped, interrogated, and harassed, these Gospel workers decided to cross the desert by camel under the cover of night. A strong desert dust storm hit them, causing zero visibility and lasted a long time. Disoriented, the group lost communication with each other. Two days later when these people did not arrive at their destination, the police were asked to search for them. For one young man in his early thirties who had established many home churches in the past, it was too late. One of the shepherds spotted a slumped-over body in the desert and alerted the nearby villagers. They found the dehydrated dead body of this man of God; a man who risked all for the Gospel, leaving behind a widow in her late twenties.
The others were found in a comatose state near a cliff, fully dehydrated, but alive. One had a broken shoulder requiring surgery. All were transported to a hospital and have recovered. However, the body of the one who died was unceremoniously buried in a nearby area where he was found, with nobody to mourn or weep his passing. The local village folk would not allow a proper burial because he was a Christian, believing he would defile their burial place. The wandering camels were corralled but it was established these brothers were going to share the Gospel and the animals had carried them. Obtaining a government order, the police slaughtered the camels, then fed to the poor.
The one died on his way to share the Gospel. The surviving Gospel workers were warned to stop these activities or risk their lives. The gates of hell cannot stop the advancement of the Gospel. Not only is the Kingdom of God advancing in this nation, but in many other nations where people do not have the freedom to choose and practice their own religion. For ages, strong kingdoms, mighty emperors, organized groups, and the forces of evil have tried to stop the advancement of the Gospel. Even to this day, the Gospel of Jesus is facing opposition, threats, and severe persecution … but the Gospel and Kingdom of God is unstoppable and is advancing!