Thursday, April 13, 2017

Crossing The Sahara to Find Jesus

Sitting in a taxi in Tripoli, Libya, I learned an important lesson from my soulwinning partner. "God takes some through desert places that they might reach the cross". Such was the case with my new-found friend and fellow-laborer in this northern city of Africa. Newman was not your typical convert. He had grown up in harsh realities of the difficult land of West Africa. Fourteen years earlier he had abandoned his motherland looking for a new beginning in what was to be Italy. But before he could make his way to the European Utopia he had dreamed, he would first have to make the long trek across the Sahara Desert. 

And after some weeks of a journey that he narrowly survived, he came to Tripoli. He saw others die before his very eyes in the sands of the Sahara. Once in Libya, he planned to do as more than 300,000 Africans did just last year, he would pay nearly $700 to traffickers to take him by night across the turbulent waves of the Mediterranean. This unbelievable journey was nearly 1,000 miles. Many of the immigrants who try never make it alive, but find their fate at the waters' basin. Such was the case this first attempt by Newman as the boat nearly capsized, and eight Africans drowned at sea. The pilot turned back to Tripoli and their mission had failed. After another year of saving his meager salary Newman would try again only to meet frustation again, as the boats' engine would fall into the deep waters, leaving the more than 100 passengers stranded 6 hours from shore. However, they would find their way back through the darkness with their lives in tact. Still another year later, Newman, determined to have a better life in the West, would attempt this insanity once again. This time, the organizer of the journey, pocketed his money and fled away leaving Newman and others hopeless. 

After these three attempts to leave the continent of Africa, this young frustarted Nigerian moved to the town of Sirte (home of Muammar Gaddafi) to escape any remembrance of why he had come to this land. He didn't want to be around any of the Christians that he knew in Tripoli. He didn't want to be reminded of a God that he felt had abandoned him. However, as God once before knew the whereabouts of runaway Jonah in Biblical times, He also knew the location of Newman. And God didn't give up on this prodigal. Newman stayed in Sirte for some months working the job of a mason. 

One night while sleeping in this strange place, he awoke to dreams of Jesus. He awoke to throughts of being lost forever without God. It shook him at his core. Soon he found some believers that took time for him and shared the Gospel of Jesus with this searching soul. God saved Newman from his sins and gave him eternal life in Christ. No more would he have to search for happiness by crossing a sea or a desert. His happiness would be found in Jesus. 

Today Newman serves as an evangelist in his church in Tripoli. The days I spent with him there, we saw many other wanderers come to Christ. God saved Newman, not to take him to a better life in Europe of America, but to take he and others to an everlasting home in Heaven. Thank the Lord, for His sovereignty in not giving up on us when we lack the desire for His mercy. "He has to take some through the desert, that they might reach the cross". 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jesus for All Africans

Tim at Church in Alexandria, Egypt
In February of 2016 we began our ninth year in All Nations Outreach Ministry with a trip to six nations in Africa. Four of these regions were familiar to us, while four countries we made out genesis outreach. We preached in many dialects and to many variations of Africans. While in Seychelles we encountered many European influences as we shared the gospel in many public schools with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Onto Mauritius we witnessed an Asian culture and shared the the message of Christ with people of a Hindu background. Into Madagascar and Kenya we witnessed the gospel to people with traditional African culture and ideology. The Swahili and Malagasy were people with former roots in animism and ancestry worship. Once in Ethiopia we entered villages that had been inhabited by Ethiopian Jews and told them of our Jewish Savior. Finally, I was blessed to preach Jesus to Egyptian Arabs and see many come to saving faith. 
Adewale at a school in Eldoret, Kenya
From the Arabs of northern Africa, to the black men and women of eastern Africa, to the yellow-skinned African on these three islands in the Indian Ocean the message was only ONE, Jesus Christ.. Salvation through the blood of Jesus is a universal message no matter one's language. As I (Tim Pledger) and my brother in missions (Adewale Adesina) traveled these many miles over land and sea, we saw that the joy one inherited when they accepted the good news was not different, but the same. We learned that people are people in every culture and language. It does not matter if one leaves behind Paganism, Hinduism, Islam, or Atheism to come to Christ, so long as the path of grace leads to the Old Rugged Cross. On this excursion we were able to see 7,081 people receive Jesus personally as their Savior. All of them that truly were saved were saved from very different but tragically similar past choices. However, in Jesus all of them have the same unique future as sons and daughters of God. Jesus is truly for All Africans.
Tim with children before a gospel film in Madagascar

Friday, October 16, 2015

Breaking Ground in East Africa

As I have travelled though out Africa these past several years, I have found in most places a foundation of Gospel-preaching churches that has been laid through many years by the missionaries and Christian laborers in decades and centuries gone by. However, in many of the areas of East Africa, the Gospel is just now gaining traction. In part of these areas the gospel once existed, but was driven out of the region by ruthless Islam and is now trying to make a comeback.

One of these areas that I visited and preached was in Juba, South Sudan. The people of Juba have suffered greatly at the hands of Muslim jihadists. They have left homeland and villages and started over in this hot and arid city. Juba is the newest member state of nations. It is an infant of countries in Africa. It is the "Wild West" of this continent. Being there for a week proved to a learning experience and a blessed opportunity to see souls saved.

In March, 2014, I was invited to
spend a week with some of these new churches. I preached in schools, orphanages, and universities. The people were ready to hear the gospel. Many hundreds were saved through gospel films and in the open air. God is stirring in the hearts of the people in this nation. The people are an Arabic-speaking people. They are breathing a freedom that is new to them and religious persecution to most is a thing of the past. While I was in Juba for the week, my brother and Adewale were in the southern region along the Uganda border working with an American missionary. They also, had a successful week seeing many hundreds of people come to Christ. The resilience of the Sudanese people is amazing. The impoverished society still looms, but the people are eager to move forward. I long for a day to make a greater difference in this land. The ground has been tilled over, the seeds of truth are planted. Now it is time for the watering and reaping. Laborers are greatly needed.



Monday, February 2, 2015

Eurasia Trip 2013

The heart of our church and ministry these past years has been to see the gospel penetrate places where it has yet to go, or yet to take root. Such was the case with our September, 2013 trip to Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. While some of these places were the first areas that the early church began to evangelize, today there is hardly a gospel witness to be found. Brothers Chris and Tim Pledger went to some of these extraordinary and Biblical routes where some of the first disciples of Christ once preached. Places like the Antioch, (modern Turkey) where believers were first called "Christians" were visited and souls were saved in the very towns were nearly 2000 years earlier the church of Acts experienced its infancy. Churches were encouraged and people were saved in places like Thessalonica (modern Greece). This region of our world has great spiritual needs. Islam and other dead religions now stand where the Bible once stood. Sadly, many are drowning for lack of truth. Pray that God will speak to the hearts of men, and that they will listen to His Voice. 

Caves in Antakya, Turkey believed to be the church in Acts

Passing out Tracts in Istanbul, Turkey

Old men reading the Word of God

The local transport in parts of Eastern Europe


South America 2013

Brother Anthony Jones, one of the faithful members of Calvary Baptist Church as well as the team leader for the South America region, went to Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana in April, 2014. What a thrill it was for him to be with great pastors and churches in these 4 countries. Brother Jones is not only a qualified preacher, but also a servant. He traveled into areas where many Americans would hardly venture. He navigated up channels and rivers by boat sharing the love of Christ with those in numerous villages. He represented our ministry and church, but most importantly our Savior. During this time, God blessed his ministry with 1332 souls placing their faith in Christ. Pray for the people of South America as the population continues to explode with nearly 400 million. Pray that God would use ANOM to make a difference in this needy region of the world. Pray that through our going and giving sacrificially that God will use our lives to Reach the World!!!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Africa Trip 2013

Africa 2013 Trip

Burundi ~ Rwanda ~ Malawi

Tanzania ~ ZanzĂ­bar ~ Uganda
  The African 2013 trip was eventful and blessed of God.  Bro. Tim Pledger was met by Bro. Adewale Adesina from Nigeria and Bro. James Thomas from Texas.  Having extra preachers on the trip allowed the team to preach in many more venues.  The national pastors and leaders that hosted us in each of these countries did an amazing job setting up a fruitful schedule of preaching.   We are always amazed at the many open doors that are available in so many parts of Africa. The trip lasted just over one month. Film shows, school-preaching, and aggressive evangelism was the emphasis of this team. God blessed with 16,256 souls coming to Christ. The team also, had opportunities to broadcast over Christian radio from Rwanda. Only Heaven will tell the numbers of people that heard the gospel and were saved.

Crossing The Sahara to Find Jesus

Sitting in a taxi in Tripoli, Libya, I learned an important lesson from my soulwinning partner. "God takes some through desert places ...