Imagine being arrested and tortured. Imagine being told, “Deny your faith, and deny Christ, or we will kill you!” It’s a real scenario for many today in regions where International Media Ministries is working with media partners to share the Gospel.
At a recent gathering, we heard the story of a man in a Muslim-majority country in western Africa who was arrested for his faith. Under torture, this man, we will call him Mustafa, denied Christ and was permitted to leave prison. He was filled with deep sorrow for having betrayed Christ. He began to pray, “Lord, if you will give me another chance, I will be faithful to your name and not recant.”
Of course, he hadn’t denied Christ in his heart, but he didn’t know how to make it right. Shortly after this, his bus struck something, flipped over, and caught fire. People were injured and were being pulled to safety. Mustafa asked, “Is there anyone else inside the bus?” Someone said a policeman was trapped inside, but it was too dangerous to get to him. The passengers seemed to have no great love for the police.
Mustafa plunged into the burning vehicle and pulled the policeman out. The injured group walked to a nearby village hospital. A policeman doing triage on the new arrivals shouted, “Are there any policemen? They will be treated first!” The rescued policeman came up and said, “I’m a policeman, but you must treat this man who saved me. He has been burned.”
The policeman doing triage turned and looked at Mustafa. They both froze; it was the policeman who had tortured Mustafa into renouncing his faith. The policeman asked, “How could you save a policeman after what I did to you?” Mustafa’s second chance had come full circle. He responded, “Because I believe in Jesus Christ, and He has told me to love my enemies!”
We know this story because of broadcast partners who follow up in the regions where we send videos and report back about the impact. Most people come to Christ in closed places by first learning about Christ through media. We are so glad to be part of the beautiful journey of faith!
Mustafa’s story echoes another story that IMM is spending time with this year and getting ready to shoot. It is the final story from The Heritage Project series, Cyprian.
During Cyprian’s lifetime, the young church of the 3rd Century faced unexpected persecution. Some denied Christ to save themselves, while other believers held strong and were tortured or martyred. Cyprian, a Tunisian and church leader, formed church councils to resolve the conflict between the opinions over who should be allowed back into fellowship in the church after denying Christ. Rather than let the church fall into dissension, he helped them to use Scripture to find a way through hard times. Cyprian eventually made the ultimate sacrifice for not denying Christ and was martyred by Roman officials.
It’s important to see the story of Mustafa and know that The Heritage Project stories are not ancient history but vitally relevant to people who are still in hard regions. We are telling stories of fellow believers from the early church who would absolutely be shocked if they knew how far their testimonies would reach. Imagine if Cyprian realized what was going on today as people are persecuted to deny Christ and he was an example to Christ-seekers.
The witness of The Heritage Project stories will be sent via satellites, internet and broadcast channels to blanket regions of the earth where Christ has been forgotten or purposefully discarded. The Heritage Project will resonate powerfully in the Kingdom. This series of Spirit-led stories could affect cultures, strengthen churches struggling to survive, or give conviction to those who will encounter obstacles. Consider the power of a true story that is relevant to an individual’s life to tear down strongholds and create holy aftershocks in this fallen world.
Will you join with IMM as we finalize the first season of stories, and as we prepare for Cyprian’s story? Will you help us get a new regional dialect ready for North Africa?
When I hear the Mustafa story, I am compelled to start and finish a language project. For $5,200, we can bring together the pieces needed to share this story in another dialect, in another place and be a part of changing thousands of lives.
Will you stand with us by sending your most generous gift today? You can be a part of making this our BEST summer ever!
Please complete the enclosed response card and return it ASAP. You can also go online to make your secure gift at www.imm.edu/give.
Maybe this is the generation that will ALL hear about the good news!
Jesus on every screen