Akmal found Jesus in a desolate place
Did you know 42% of the world’s population consists of people groups that do not have churches or believers around them?
NewSpring partners with Crossover Global, an organization that plants multiplying churches among unreached people groups. Many have never met a Christian, and some have never before heard the name of Jesus.
Crossover Global works among people who practice Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and a host of tribal religions. Thirty church planting networks are represented in the picture above. One of those networks is led by a man named Akmal, who grew up in a farming and oil town in an Islamic nation in rural Central Asia.
Akmal grew up a practicing Muslim, but this was really his only option — everyone in Akmal’s village was Muslim. Akmal’s father was a farmer like many others in the town. One day, when Akmal was 12, his father was kicked in the head by an ox and became unconscious. The town imam (the Muslim equivalent of pastor) and many other members of the community came to pray to Allah for Akmal’s father to regain his consciousness. Nothing happened.
Akmal, a rebellious 12-year-old, had heard of Jesus but had always been taught that Jesus was only a prophet. Akmal, out of desperation, prayed to this Jesus he had only heard of in the context of the Quran. As Akmal prayed to Jesus, his father regained consciousness. It was a miracle! Jesus had saved his father, and Akmal knew that Jesus was Lord. He believed in Jesus and became a follower of Christ.
While this story of healing and coming to faith is fantastic, the sad reality is that Akmal was in a town with no Bibles, no believers, and no churches. Akmal was alone in his faith. When Akmal was 18, he went to the capital city for education, and he met his first Christian friend. Akmal became connected with Crossover Global. Their team had the privilege of giving him the first Bible he had ever owned after being a Christian for six years. Over the course of the next four years, Akmal grew in his faith, and after finishing his schooling, was eager to take his faith back to his hometown.
Akmal returned back home to the fishing and oil town, established in his faith and equipped to plant churches for the glory of God. He began inviting his trusted friends to come to his house and hear the Gospel. This is dangerous work where Akmal lives, as Christians in his country can be beaten and persecuted.
In the years since Akmal has been in his hometown, his church has grown out of his home and into a network of other churches. He has shared the Gospel of Jesus, teaching others how to follow Him and share the good news. Akmal now leads seven churches, and 65 people have become Christians in his town — including Akmal’s family.
To date, Crossover Global has planted 2,598 churches around the world among unreached people groups. This could not be possible without the prayer and financial support of their partners, such as NewSpring Church. When you give to NewSpring Church, you are helping to provide Gospel access to Akmals all over the world!
The very nature of Crossover Global’s pioneering church efforts requires church planters to go to unreached places, such as to the Caucasus mountains, to isolated islands in Indonesia, and even to the core of the Sahara Desert. Crossover Global shared with us, “In the midst of this global pandemic, we have seen 376 churches planted, and we praise God that He has continued to move. We cannot overstate our gratitude for your support and prayers!”