Stories from Africa

The Challenges in Egypt

A recent trip to Cairo highlighted both the crucial role that Gospel Outreach Canada has in proclaiming Christ to this country and the HUGE challenges our Adventist leaders and members face every day. When many people think of Cairo, they think of the pyramids and the Sphinx located about an hour from the international airport. As well, we remember the Bible stories of Joseph, Abraham, Moses and Jesus with his earthly parents fleeing to Egypt from King Herod.

However, with a population of 110 million, of which 22 million live in Cairo, there are challenges in bringing the story of Jesus to these multitudes which are compounded when we learned that there are only a few hundred Seventh-day Adventists in this ‘field.’

We met with local Adventist leaders, who highlighted some of the difficulties faced by the Adventist Church and members in this territory. While Egypt is officially a secular democracy and legally offers religious liberty to all traditions, religious opposition by historically established groups are the daily reality. Through it all, while conversions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church are few, the Adventist leaders are optimistic and of good courage.

Consider the story of Shaddia, a refugee and a new Gospel Outreach Evangelist. She recently started a house church in her simple apartment with 10-15 persons attending. Already, several are preparing for baptism.

Typical methods of outreach face numerous social, legal and political forms of resistance and opposition. In cooperation with Adventist church leaders, a Gospel Outreach Evangelist is working on plans to start a learning centre. Even after finding a suitable facility to rent, and even though the landlord is very supportive, legal and bureaucratic delays challenge the patience of our leaders.

Located in a busy section of Cairo and surrounded by a densely populated area, securing this former restaurant and arts studio has taken months of negotiations with various entities to secure the appropriate documentations.

Knowing that direct witnessing methods of evangelism could easily result in arrest, prison and removal from the country, plans for this learning centre include an elementary school for children, as well as various classes on health and education for parents in the afternoons and evenings. It is anticipated that these will result in requests for Bible studies as well as the potential of starting a new group in this section of Cairo.

Why Are You Hiding From Us?

On February 23, 2024 as representatives of Gospel Outreach Canada, Harald Zinner and I received a request to visit Bore in SE Ethiopia. It was an exciting trip to this new Genale Basin Field (Conference), where the Adventist Church has few regular workers and Gospel Outreach Evangelists (GOEs) amidst a significant Muslim population.

And yet, the local people and government officials are pleading with the Adventists to send more workers into this area. Questions such as “Where have you Adventists been? Why are you hiding from us? Why is it taking so long for you to come into this area?” are just some of the comments made.

Stories of conversions are plenty. One GOE was asked to visit the home of a sick lady. Upon arriving they found that another woman visitor was also there. After the GOE offered prayer, the visitor requested Bible studies for herself and her husband and as a result they were recently baptized.

After travelling for six hours through a very scenic countryside on a road with numerous and sizeable potholes, we arrived in time for the final weekend of evangelistic meetings led by Yohannes Orlana, the treasurer for the East Central African Division. GOE Bible Workers were busy assisting with many aspects of these meetings, which also included working directly with many of the baptismal candidates.

Along with five other nearby sites, these meetings resulted in over 2,000 baptisms. Of that number, over
300 were baptized on Sabbath afternoon at the Bora location.

Dozens are already in baptismal classes and as a result of an altar call, dozens more indicated their desire to
prepare for baptism. What an experience to witness groups of eight at a time being baptized in an outdoor
pool as the people gathered around and sang praises to God.

While we were there, Ethiopia Hope Channel filmed live interviews from the baptismal pool as church leaders
expressed their sincere appreciation and requests for more Gospel Outreach Evangelists. This new field still
has many un-entered cities, towns and villages, where people need to hear the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14.

Sickness Brought Her Back to God

Elizabeth, 65 years old, lives in the forest region of Yomou Guinea. She has been a baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church since 1994. A while back she decided to travel to Liberia so that she could spend time with her family. However, that didn’t turn out as planned as she was sick the whole time in Liberia. Discouragement set in and she abandoned her faith. Elizabeth visited the hospital for a checkup but the doctors could not diagnose her sickness. She continually felt pains in her stomach. One day she went to the hospital for another checkup and was told she needed to have an operation. She actually underwent three surgeries but that didn’t fix the problem and she continued to feel pain. She decided to return to Guinea even though she was still not feeling well. A few months after arriving home Gospel Outreach Evangelist Felix met her at her house on his way to church and told her that Jesus loved her. She didn’t wanted to talk to him that day because of how she was feeling but then he told her he was a Seventh-day Adventist. After hearing that, she relaxed and told him that she was a Seventh-day Adventist member too. He was so happy to hear her response and asked her to go with him to church. She accepted. She knew she needed God to help her with her health situation. That day marked the beginning of her healing process and soon her stomach was free of pain. She was full of joy, knowing God had healed her. Evangelist Felix continues to study the Bible with her every week. As she says, “I thank God for healing me and putting a smile back on my face.”

Delivered by the Power of God’s Word

Nyankoi, a young man, lives in an area of Guinea called Gbangana. Every night when he went to bed he couldn’t sleep as the evil spirits would visit him because he was demon-possessed. In 2023 the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Gbangana organized an evangelistic campaign. Nyankoi began attending the meetings when he heard that the pastor was preaching on the demon spirits in Luke 8:27:33. After the meeting he approached the pastor and explained what he was going through. The pastor invited the elders and the prayer group of the Gbangana Church to pray for him. After the prayer the pastor gave him a Bible and asked him to read specific verses whenever he had a spare moment. He also encouraged him to always pray before going to sleep. The pastor assured him that if he did these things God would deliver him and protect him from evil. When Nyankoi went home he read the Bible and prayed before going to sleep as the pastor had advised him to do. That night he slept peacefully with no attacks from the demon spirits. Nyankoi thanks God for His protection over him. He is now free without any evil spirits controlling his life. His body and soul belong to God. He is continuing to study the Word of God with the pastor. Pray for Nyankoi and others in his situation that they may know the freedom that comes from knowing God and devoting their lives to Him.

God Still Answers Prayers For Babies

Vaynia, a married woman from Kissidougou, Guinea is so thankful for what God has done for her. For many years she had been suffering with some health issues which made it impossible for her to become pregnant. She visited hospitals and native doctors but no one could find a solution to her problem. Because she was not having children her mother-in-law did not love her. She was discouraged and didn’t know what to do. While she was worrying about her situation, she met Gospel Outreach Evangelist Leno who had come to share the Word of God with her. She was not a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to which he belonged, but he was so kind and asked her why she was so sad. She explained her health problem to him and he told her that God could heal her if she gave her life to Jesus. She told him she did believe in Jesus and they prayed together. When Evangelist Leno finished praying for Vaynia he brought out his Bible. He began to study the Word of God with her, starting with John 14:13 where it says “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” After a month of Bible study, fasting and prayers God healed Vaynia. She went to the hospital for a checkup and the doctor said her health issue had been resolved. Two months later she discovered she was pregnant and knew it was a miracle. Today she is a mother carrying her child in her arms. She keeps thanking God and praising Him for His healing hand upon her. She now attends the local Seventh-day Adventist Church and plans to be there every Sabbath!

Sharing Her Faith Even When Threatened


Nyakor, a middle-aged Christian woman, had been living in South Sudan’s third most populous city with her husband and her seven children. At that time she was an elder of a Protestant church. One year in January she was checking the financial report and discovered that two-thirds of the funds were missing from the money the church needed to send to their headquarters. She was told that she needed to sell her own cow to replace the missing funds. She told them she was a woman and that she didn’t have a cow to sell and that her husband would not accept that responsibility. The church then said that if she couldn’t pay that amount, she could no longer attend worship services until the missing money was paid in full. So, from January to April, she worshipped at her home alone.

Nyakor began to ask God to give her another place where she could worship Him in peace. She didn’t know how to read or write but she prayed every night saying, “God, please help me!” She began looking at both the Catholic Church and the Kush Church because they were the only churches available in her area.

While she was praying she had a dream that she should be worshipping on the Holy Day which she thought was Sunday. In September a group of young Seventh-day Adventists came to her area to conduct meetings and home visits. Elders Iam and Duol went to her house and introduced her to the study of the Bible and of the Sabbath truth which she learned was Saturday. During the three days of studying the Bible with them she was converted and wanted to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

When Nyakor was visited by the evangelists and made her decision to follow God as a Seventh-day Adventist her husband was not at home. He was gone to Ethiopia during that time. When it came time for her baptism she said she couldn’t be baptized without discussing it with her husband. He came home at the end of October. She told her husband that she had heard the Adventist messages and wanted to be baptized and he, not surprisingly, said no! She told him that she had found the true Sabbath and her husband became angry with her and with anyone who visited her for Bible study or even just for a visit.

Before this Nyakor and her husband didn’t quarrel in their marriage but now he said, “The day you are baptized you must die!” He forbade her to go to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She was so discouraged that she couldn’t attend with her new friends and with her new faith. She realized she needed to go somewhere to hide where her husband couldn’t find her as he had begun to shackle and treat her like a slave and had almost killed her. She escaped to a village about 40 km away where she could worship safely. She stayed for ten days in that area while she waited for a speed boat to take her to the town where she was born. The Adventists in the village collected enough money for her to travel on the boat and to get her to her next place of safety. No boats usually stopped at that place but that day one did! Nyakor was able to travel to safety. She found a Seventh-day Adventist Church there and was finally baptized. She called her children and her husband. However, her husband replied that he did not want to see her face anymore and, if she came back home again, he would kill her!

Nyakor is now attending a small school to learn to read the Bible. She still wants to go back home to share her faith with her former church members where she was an elder and also with her children and her husband. Pray for her that she might fulfill the mission God has implanted in her heart!

From Nightmares to Peace of Heart

Nathalie was raised in an animist family and had been initiated into the divinity of Sakpata (a god of sickness and disease.) After she was married three years ago, she began having nightmares which, of course, kept her awake at night. One day she was visited by an old friend who was a Christian but whom she hadn’t seen for awhile as the friend had been travelling.

Her friend often talked about her church and several times had invited Nathalie to come with her to church on Saturday but Nathalie never went. However, when Nathalie explained to her about the nightmares her friend invited her to come to her house to attend a Bible talk every evening for a

Nathalie accepted that invitation, and on the first evening she met the speaker, Evangelist Meliho. He asked her to take hold of Jesus in order to break with the past so she could find peace. He prayed with her every evening that week. She was overwhelmed with joy and did find peace in her heart. She has given her life to the Lord and has answered His call. It was a special day in August 2023 when she was baptized!

Please pray for Nathalie that she will continue to have peace and feel the Lord’s presence in her life.

Redirected Passion

While visiting Stella, a member who lives in the NW region of West Cameroon, Evangelist Samuel was introduced to her sister and brother-in-law, Catherine and Elvis. Evangelist Samuel talked with them for a short time and made an appointment to see them later. They were members of a Reformed Movement but they agreed to study with him. During the studies he included some counsel from the writings of Ellen G. White. The Holy Spirit used these thoughts to help correct and renew their understanding of God and His Word. After three months of studying together they expressed their joy for God’s revelation to them. During a special week of studies with the young people of the church they requested to be reunited with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and to commit their lives to the Lord through baptism. After their baptism Catherine attended a seminar to learn how to be a medical missionary. Today, she is a medical missionary who is on fire for the Lord – at home, in her neighborhood, and among her colleagues at the school where she is a teacher. Wherever she goes, she shares the good news about Jesus and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Freddy’s Deliverance

It was on a Friday in June of 2023 that Pastor Megana went to the village of Dondi in East Cameroon. While there on church business he saw three people on a motorbike, one of whom looked like he was about to die. The group was on the way home to drop the boy off and just wait for him to breathe his last. Pastor Megana approached the group and asked what was wrong with the child. His mother told the pastor that her child had gone to see his father’s grave two days earlier. As he arrived at his father’s grave, he and his ‘father’ (who was already dead) met and the boy fell down complaining that someone was strangling him by the neck. He was taken to the hospital and she said that nothing had changed and he was only getting worse. The mother added that the boy had been in a coma since the day before and that the family was just waiting for him to die. After hearing all of this Pastor Megana understood that the child was possessed by a demon. He asked everyone to come outside except for a few family members. The pastor then went into the house and started praying and singing hymns and the child started coughing. The pastor kept praying and singing hymns and the child started calling his mother (‘mommy, mommy, mommy!). Pastor Megana continued to pray and sing. He saw the child struggling as the demon came out of his body. The child then became very agitated. The pastor continued to pray and the child fell asleep. Pastor Megana went outside for a walk, and when he came back, he instructed the family to not do any more evil practices on the boy. The pastor went back to doing church business but around noon, he returned to check on Freddy, the child who had been delivered from the demon. Freddy was standing, walking around, and in good health thanks to God who had mercy on him. May God receive the glory for this miracle!

From Soap to Souls

Nyahoo, a locality in West Cameroon, had no Adventist members and the name “Seventh-day Adventist Church” was practically non-existent in that area. Evangelist Justin, who felt the Lord’s leading to work in Nyahoo, decided to observe the way of life and study the thinking and customs of the people there so he could integrate into their society. He studied their culture for two months and soon became a member of their locality. He felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to use the method of Beneficence – helping the mothers in the field, organizing the delivery of school supplies to the needy at his own expense, and by leaving pieces of soap in various households. After some time, he was able to schedule a Bible conference. At the end of the meetings he was thrilled to be able to baptize eleven people and the group was born. The Lord continues to call souls for His kingdom, even using soap!

The Power of Prayer

A young man named Kamanda was very popular among the youth of Magba. He was doing well; in fact, he had graduated at the top of his class. He was in Malantoing doing an internship when something unusual happened. While there, he fell in front of his colleagues. They took him to the emergency room where he was examined. No abnormalities were found but he continued to faint on a regular basis. When he returned home to Magba he went to see Evangelist Samuel. Samuel prayed with him and set aside a week of prayer to pray for his healing. It was discovered at the end of the week that Kamanda was feeling much better. He was not having any more spells and there were no more spirits to frighten him. He has not yet been baptized because of the distance that separates him from where the evangelist currently lives but he is continuing to study. Pray that Kamanda can be baptized soon and be an influence for God among his friends.

Stranger to Friend to Baptism

One day Anane was walking away from her house after she had had a disagreement with her husband. While she was escaping from her husband, she met Aberash, who is one of our medical missionary ladies working in Gimbia and surrounding villages. Aberash greeted her and asked her where she was going. Anane replied that she was escaping from her husband because they had had a dispute. Aberash and Anane discussed the situation and Aberash was able to get Anane to calm down. Since the day was Friday, Aberash requested Anane to stay at her home and go to church with her the next day, which was Sabbath. Anane agreed to stay with Aberash until Sunday morning.

On Sabbath morning they went to church and spent the day together. After Sabbath Anane told Aberash that she was blessed with the programs that had been presented at church and was impressed with all of the ways worship was held that day. They went back to Aberash’s house and spent Saturday night together. On Sunday morning both ladies went to Anane’s house to discuss with her husband about what had happened and to settle the dispute. After this discussion, with both Anane and her husband expressing their concerns, they negotiated and came to an agreement. A friendship with Aberash was begun and they began studying the Bible truths and health messages with her. Anane gave her heart to God and began studying towards baptism. She was eventually baptized and began attending church regularly. This is how God gave this precious soul to our medical missionary lady, Aberash Tilahun. God is great – all the time!

Genet, a 23 year old Muslim lady, has been a neighbor and friend of one of our medical missionary ladies, Chaltu, for the last couple of years. Even though they were friends they did not discuss Bible truths until Chaltu began working as a medical missionary. Chaltu tried to help Genet with her chronic gastritis as well as teaching her other health principles, such as how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle, and about the relationship between physical and spiritual health. Chaltu’s home treatments of Genet helped relieve her gastritis. In addition to giving Genet medical care and health education they began studying the Bible together. Chaltu also offered Genet some spiritual books which she read and loved. Chaltu then invited Genet to attend Sabbath services with her and she agreed to come. After attending church that first Sabbath she continued to attend regularly. After a few months she decided to surrender her life to God and got baptized. But remember, Genet was from a Muslim home and they knew nothing of her decision to become a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. When they learned of her new life they challenged her on a variety of beliefs and issues. Genet needs our prayers to maintain her faith in God so that she can overcome these challenges and difficulties.

The story continues! A protestant relative of Genet, Tajitu, is married and has two boys. One day Genet brought Chaltu to her relative’s house and introduced Chaltu as both a friend and as a medical missionary worker. Tajitu was excited to hear this and began asking Chaltu for some health tips as she was having kidney problems. Chaltu shared some health tips and Bible truths with her, then took her history and assessed her for any signs and symptoms of kidney disease. Some supportive treatment was given and she was sent to a local health facility for further medical evaluation and treatment. The medical facility treated her kidney disease and also instructed her to follow a heathy lifestyle. When Tajitu returned home Chaltu continued to teach her about her disease and offer supportive treatments at her home, including the need to drink lots of water. Tajitu’s health soon began to improve. Their friendship and studying the Bible together continued and soon Chaltu invited Tajitu to attend church with her on Sabbath. It turned out to be a 13th Sabbath program that Sabbath, highlighting the children. Tajitu and her children loved the worship service and, after that day, she decided to surrender herself to God. She was anxious to also have her children learn about Jesus through the Sabbath School program. As was mentioned, her husband was of another Protestant denomination and she was afraid to ask him about going to a different church and changing her religion. She told him she got good information there regarding her health, she was learning Bible truths, and there was a program for the children which was all lacking in their current church. At first he denied her request so she and Chaltu started praying about it. She continued to ask her husband if she could go to the Adventist Church and praise the Lord, he finally he agreed to her request. After completing Bible studies she and her two sons were baptized. God always works on behalf of His children!

One day a young man named Hussein was crying at the cemetery because he had lost both his father and mother. Chaltu and her hus­band were in Kubsa village study­ing the Bible with other Christian brothers and sisters. When they saw him crying and calling out his parents’ names they asked him what had happened. He replied that he wanted to die himself. They took him to one of the church member’s homes, fed him lunch and prayed for him. Using Bible texts they reassured him about the condition of people who have died and about the second coming of Jesus. He felt better after hearing these verses and he became friends with Chaltu and her husband as well as other Christian brothers from the same village. Since then he has been interested in learning more of what the Bible says and also wished to hear health messages from the medical missionary and her husband. After a couple of months he surrendered himself to God and requested baptism. He was able to be baptized with two other men from Kubsa village. Currently, the group meets at one of the members’ homes as they don’t have an established church in their village. Pray for these dear people that their faith will remain strong and that they will someday have a church in their community.


Remo was a farmer living in the country of South Sudan. Although he had not been able to complete his education, he had learned to read some English. A group of nearby Seventh-day Adventist members asked him to come to their church and share with them what was written in their English Bible-study guides, since they themselves were unable to read. Remo read and explained each lesson to them. In the process, he began learning many biblical truths, especially the truth about a loving God. The church members were very loving and caring. Their attitude caused him to investigate more about their faith. He started worshipping with them on Sabbaths, and before long he was baptized.

Children in school in South Sudan

Soon Remo was holding offices in the church. Then he was invited to become a Gospel Outreach Canada evangelist and was sent to Aboroto to work with the Keliko tribe of which he is a member. No Adventist work had previously been conducted among this people group. At first the people showed little interest, but he persevered. In less than five years, Remo has baptized 65 people, and they have built a small church in which to worship. He broadcasts on the local radio station for one hour every Sunday. He and his fellow church members share everywhere they can—witnessing at funerals, at health centers, in prisons and markets.

In that same area, a local man operates a private school that teaches a class in religion and the Bible. Two Adventist students scored so high in the class that other students and teachers asked them, “How do you know so much about the Bible?” Their reply was, “Our pastor taught us these things at our church.” As a result, Remo was invited to speak to the students. Everyone was thrilled to hear him, and they invited him to return. As a result, he now conducts Bible studies with 168 students and teachers every week. Three students have already been baptized.

Remo began an evangelistic series in Morobo where 20 people attended and 12 continued to study the Bible. Banga, a drunkard and heavy tobacco smoker, came to these meetings. He had married five women, none of whom stayed with him. So, he and his three daughters moved in with his elderly parents.

Unfortunately, the parents died. Before they were buried, Banga went out and got drunk. His elder brother scolded him for doing such a disrespectful thing. In his anger, Banga went into the house and returned with a gun, intending to shoot his brother. People grabbed Banga, tied him with a rope, and began beating him. Remo happened by and saw Banga lying on the ground. He went over and talked with him about controlling his emotions. Then he prayed with him.

Eight months later, Banga came to Remo’s home at 2:00 in the morning. Remo asked him, “Why have you come at such an unearthly hour?” Banga responded, “I am like Nicodemus coming in the night, and I need to talk to you.” Remo went out to meet Banga, and the two men sat outside and talked until dawn.

Obviously, something had touched Banga’s heart. He asked, “What can I do to quit drinking and smoking so I can have money to support my daughters?” Remo encouraged him to fully accept Jesus and depend on Him. He also invited him to attend church on Sabbath. Early the following Sabbath, Banga showed up for Sabbath school. The lesson was about our body temple and how God expects us to care for it. Banga enjoyed the discussion and stayed for the church service. He didn’t miss a Sabbath after that!

Remo invited Banga to attend his evangelistic meetings, and he did. In time Banga made his decision to be baptized. He also encouraged two of his friends to attend. They did and were baptized along with one of his daughters. His other two daughters have also decided to prepare for baptism. Now Banga, who has found freedom from his unhealthful habits, serves as the group leader of the local company of believers.

NOTE: Names, locations and some details have been changed.

By Dave Crook
Dave Crook was a Gospel Outreach Canada regional director for East Africa.


Not long ago an Adventist businessman stopped coming to church. He needed money, so he started working on Sabbath. One day he was involved in a terrible accident on a bridge. He fell off the bridge into the river below. Rescuers sent him to the hospital where he remained unconscious for three days.


When he started to wake up, he could hear people talking and was amazed to find himself in a hospital. He asked what had happened to him. The only thing he remembered about the accident was that someone dressed in white had grabbed him out of the water and saved him.

Unfortunately, when he woke up he was totally blind. After eight days in the hospital, the doctors told him, “We can’t do anything more for you here.” So a sister came and took him home.

He had been blind for eight days when I went to see him. He told me what had happened and asked me, “How can I be healed of my blindness?” I responded, “You should go to an eye hospital and have the doctors check you to see if something can be done.” I then encouraged him in the Lord and asked if I could return to visit again. He confessed his sins, and I prayed for his healing on that Tuesday.

Wednesday evening, the next day, I got word that the businessman was able to see again. I visited him to witness God’s miracle and join him in thanking God. To this day, we worship together in our Adventist church.

After returning to church, the businessman had a dream. He saw demonic powers saying they had caused the accident. Some Africans believe that demons live in certain waters. When the businessman was sinking in the water, however, he saw a man in white take hold of him and save him. The demons said they wanted to possess him, but Someone greater had rescued him out of the water.

We Gospel Outreach workers may not have much education with formal degrees, but God still works miracles for our ministry.

By Akey Yao as told to Karen Wintermeyer
Akey Yao is a Gospel Outreach Canada worker in Togo, West Africa. Karen Wintermeyer and her husband, Glen, are Gospel Outreach Canada regional directors for West Africa.


One day when I came back from work, a friend called and said his little brother, Kijani,* was in the hospital and very ill. “Hurry and bring your Bible,” he exclaimed. We went to the hospital together.

When we arrived at the hospital, several doctors surrounded Kijani’s bed. We stood back and watched as Kijani’s condition worsened. The doctors seemed helpless. We started praying. A doctor noticed us praying. He came over to us and said, “We can’t do anything for Kijani. He is going to die.” I told the doctor, “God can do anything.”

Child Sleeping

All the doctors left. Kijani was unconscious and started breathing slower and slower. Eventually, we couldn’t see any sign of breathing. As we held his hands, they got colder and colder. We were sure he was dead.

We continued praying, and then another patient in the large room called out, “You cannot heal him.” He explained to us where we should take Kijani’s body. I responded, “God can heal anyone,” and we continued praying. I was impressed to ask the Lord, “By this afternoon, please make Kijani start breathing again.” Then I asked all the patients in the room to join us in prayer. That very afternoon Kijani started breathing, got out of bed, and stood up healed!

While we were praying, another patient in that room was also healed. He was an old man who did not know about God, but he experienced the fact that God can do anything. He started asking questions about God. Since he too was healed, he left the hospital with us and the young boy that was just raised to life. The old man began to study the Bible with us, and now he always comes and worships with us.

*Not his real name.

By Akey Yao as told to Karen Wintermeyer
Akey Yao is a Gospel Outreach Canada worker in Togo, West Africa. Karen Wintermeyer and her husband, Glen, are Gospel Outreach Canada regional directors for West Africa.


Koto’s entire family was animist, so whenever they found themselves in a difficult situation, they took their problems to the fetish priest for help.

Several years ago when I shared the gospel message with Koto, she told me, “Last year when I visited a Catholic church, problems began to arise in my family. My brother, and then my mother, died in the same month.” According to her traditional beliefs, these family deaths were the result of her attending a Christian church. In fact her husband, who was a military man, threatened to leave her; so she decided to stop attending any church.

I prayed with her, leaving her in the hands of the Holy Spirit and trusting that God would lead her to fully accept Jesus. I attempted to begin Bible studies with her children, but that, too, seemed impossible.

One son, however, who was sitting for his university entrance exams, promised his mother, “If Felix will continue praying for me until I pass my exams, I will accept Jesus as my personal Saviour and become a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Of course Koto was unhappy with her son’s promise because of her previous bad experience when she had attended a Christian church. She preferred taking her problems to the fetish priest.

I earnestly prayed and fasted for Koto’s son. When the exam results came out, he and his mother were overjoyed to learn that he had successfully passed—especially joyful because he had failed that same exam a year earlier.

Person reading the bible

Koto kept the information about her son’s passing the exams to herself. She didn’t want me to hear this news, because she didn’t want her son to become a Seventh-day Adventist. She explained the situation to a friend who strongly advised her, “You must share this important news with Felix since he was the one who prayed for your son. You should be grateful to God.”

Koto came to my church on Sabbath. When she discovered the service had already finished, she made her way to my house. My wife and I warmly welcomed her. Koto delivered her message; and as she was about to leave, I asked to pray with her. She consented.

Ever since this experience, Koto’s attitude has changed. Her trust is now in Jesus who answered my prayers for her son.

When her son returned from the school where he had been studying, he saw dramatic changes in his mother’s life. One day he watched her preparing for Sabbath. The next morning he asked her, “Why are you dressed up, and where are you going?” She responded, “I am going to the Adventist church for worship.” With a puzzled look on his face, her son asked, “Why are you going to an Adventist church when you had warned me not to attend this church?” She replied, “I changed my mind, because the God of the Adventists is a true God; and He is the One who helped a young struggling student successfully pass an important exam!”

Today all of Koto’s family are members of the Adventist Church, including her husband. I continue to study with all seven members of the family. Please keep this family in your prayers that God will use them to be a positive influence to those around them.

By Felix, Gospel Outreach Canada Worker
Felix works in Guinea, West Africa.