Working traffic lights are rare in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. (Maarten van der Bent/Creative Commons 2.0)
A mysterious rescue of a young Christian and a uniformed policeman’s very public profession of faith were highlighted in a recent report from TWR’s West Africa ministry.
Abdoulaye Sangho, TWR’s regional ministry international director for West and Central Africa, recounted the moving stories coming from the country of Guinea, also called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from neighboring Guinea-Bissau. Less than 1 percent of the people are evangelicals, and more than 85 percent are Muslim.
In December 2015, a local pastor who serves as TWR’s representative in Guinea launched a wide distribution of Bibles as Christmas gifts, many of the recipients having never owned or even held the book before. He presented Bibles to members of the military and government officials, who accepted the gifts despite belonging to a different faith.
Several months later, the TWR representative gave Bibles to policemen gathered at an intersection in the capital of Conakry, where working traffic lights are rare. As he turned to leave, one of the recipients responded.
“The policeman ran after him and said, ‘Hey, pastor, please help me. I want to receive Jesus in my life. Can you pray for me right now?’ Sangho reported. “So they stood in the street at the crossroads crowded with people watching them, and he talked to this policeman to present what it means to receive Jesus in his life and then prayed for him.”
Sangho relayed another dramatic story shared by TWR’s representative in this country of about 12 million people. A young man from a family belonging to another religion decided to give his life to Christ. The father, well-known as a devout adherent of the other religion, deemed his son a renegade who had betrayed his family and community.
The father wanted to kill his son, Sangho said, and he tied him to a tree outside the family home. People crowded around to see what was happening, when suddenly “a strong man” appeared seemingly from nowhere and freed the young man from his bonds. The son fled the scene.
“Nobody knew who this [strong] man was,” said Sangho, “but nobody was able to stop what he was doing. We don’t know. Is he an angel? Someone in area? Is it a military man? We don’t know. The father wasn’t able to stop the strong man from releasing the son. It reminds me of the story in the Bible when people tried to kill Jesus and he was able to pass through among them. No one was able to stop Jesus either.”
Now free, the son sought out the TWR representative. When the pastor gave him a Bible, the young man sat down and immediately began reading.