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A visit to Algeria

January 2007 | by Esther Katrina

Esther Katrina of Arab World Ministries recently visited some of her correspondents in Algeria. These extracts from her report give highlights from the trip:

God’s help began on arrival, when the police showed no interest in my baggage. I had carried in loads of books and CDs as gifts, and preferred not to be questioned about them. In stark contrast to the cold of my last trip, this time it was the heat that nearly got the better of me. The close, damp heat of early evening at the airport was just the beginning.

First visitors

My first visitor was Mouloud, a student to whom I had witnessed by e-mail and who had come to know Christ. Mouloud is great fun, full of smiles and laughter. He loves the Lord and is going on well in discipleship.

A bit later Nora, also a student, joined us. Nora had originally written to express her doubts about her new faith. Our correspondence helped to restore her trust in God.

I also met up with Khouder who was troubled by a verse in the Qur’an that denies the crucifixion of Christ. I was able to dispel his doubts and explain the gospel, getting him to read the Bible texts. Khouder expressed a deep joy.

Kabylia

Today I set off for the first of two weeks in Kabylia. Over eight days I visited four villages in the mountains, spending a night or two in each place. All those I met had questions, and it was a joy to take them into the Word and help them find the answers.

To the coast

Today I left for the coast where the air is more breathable! The bus ride took me through the plain and then over the mountains to where believers produce materials in the Berber language. This base also served as a meeting place for some of my correspondents.

Mosquito

In the evening I visited Safia and her family. Her grandmother was delighted to see me and amused that I hadn’t forgotten how to say ‘mosquito’ in Kabyle!

The next afternoon I visited Warda and Rahima who came to Christ in 2004. What a great time of reunion it was! Rahima is doing well spiritually, witnessing to all and sundry though not always with tact. But she is so changed — victorious and radiant for the Lord. Once again it was a time to give teaching and answer questions.

Encouragements

On my final Monday, Abess came to meet me. I had found it difficult to know if he was converted or not. In his e-mails, he seemed unable to express himself or answer my questions.

But face-to-face it was different. He was delighted to discover the Bible for the first time and learn how to find book, chapter and verse. He called on the Lord to save him that morning.

I was also able to meet up with Ali before my return. I had previously put him in touch with Dawood, a pastor in a nearby village, but Dawood had felt that Ali was not really interested in the gospel. However, when I spoke to him he clearly stated that he wanted to know Jesus Christ, and once again the Lord opened a heart. What a great way to finish my trip!

All persons’ names have been changed for security reasons

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Algeria