So, you’re a contestant on JEOPARDY, and the words on the screen say, “The continent with the greatest projected population growth in the next several decades, including a country that will soon displace the USA as the third most populated country in the world.”
Your correct answer would be: “What is Africa?” Really?! Yes, really.
And the country within Africa which will bump the USA down to fourth place, population-wise, is Nigeria. That will mean the four most populated countries in the world, in order of size will be China, then India, then Nigeria, and then the USA. And Nigeria lies on the “belt” that separates North Africa from sub-Saharan Africa.
So, what does any of this have to do with OneWay Ministries? A lot.
Before Covid hit last year, I had the opportunity to take a ministry trip to Ghana, West Africa and Chad, Central Africa. In both of those countries, as well as in South Sudan, OneWay includes two ministries (OneWay Africa and Streams of Living Water) that are training and sending national missionaries to go from the largely Christian south of Africa to the largely Muslim north of Africa.
To understand the significance of this, a few more explanatory words about the continent of Africa are in order.
Africa can roughly be divided into two major sections: North Africa (predominantly Muslim), and sub-Saharan Africa (largely Christian). The strategic ministries of OneWay are located along the “flash point” or “fault line” between those two huge sections of the continent.
OneWay is working where a very real “clash” is taking place between vibrant Christianity from the south which is intentionally pushing north, and militant Islam from the north which is intentionally pushing south.
Located on that “fault line", Nigeria, in 2019 alone, saw over 1,000 Christians killed for their faith by Muslim extremists. This zone (which includes Ghana, Chad and South Sudan) is where OneWay is currently ministering through our national partners. And praise God, we have seen literally tens of thousands come to Christ in the past five years.
Our Streams of Living Water ministry is prayerfully exploring the possibility of additional national missionary training programs in a highly sensitive nation to the west, and in Ethiopia to the east.
It’s all very exciting. And, very scary.
But Jesus never said that fulfilling the Great Commission would be easy.
One of our current national missionaries-in-training, a former Muslim, has been badly beaten for his faith (resulting in six months of hospital recovery), and has even spent time in jail. Yet, he is joyfully studying God’s Word in one of our training schools, preparing to take the gospel to Muslim communities in North Africa.
Another of our students is studying with us secretly, because he has been placed on a “most wanted” list by religious leaders who want him killed. Does this sound like the New Testament book of Acts, or what?!
Please pray for OneWay's work in Africa. We – and the lost we collectively seek to reach – are certainly dependent on the Lord of the Harvest as we work in this critical region.
Dr. George Murray is an active member of OneWay's Board of Directors. He is the former President and Chancellor of Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. He and his wife, Annette, also served as missionaries in Italy before giving leadership to several international missions organizations.