From Darkness to Light: Tribal Leaders Turn to Christ

Teams of ABWE missionaries share the life-changing message of forgiveness in rural African villages—and around the world.

As we rejoice in the gospel this Christmas, we are also resolving to advance the good news of Jesus Christ to even the farthest corners of the globe—where one third of humanity remains without access to the gospel, living in utter spiritual darkness. 

A mission this big requires teamwork. 

In Tanzania, men from our ABWE team traveled to remote villages with national partners, visiting the pastors enrolled in their theological training program to equip them to reach rural communities through evangelistic seminars and agricultural education. 

During a seminar in one village, a group of Maasai tribal leaders filed into the back of the church and encircled the audience, gripping machetes. Refusing invitations to sit and join the assembly, the men scrutinized the instructors, demanding: “Tell us why you are here. Explain to us what you are teaching our people.”   

The men listened intently as the missionaries and national partners began sharing the gospel. 

“The Maasai head leader responded instantaneously,” missionary teammate Stephanie Boon shared. “Something gripped him about forgiveness, and he wept.”  

Radically deviating from cultural norms, the leader sat sobbing for over an hour. “I have carried shame for my entire life, and I had no idea that I could ever be forgiven,” he said.  

He trusted Christ that day, along with three other Maasai leaders and 55 others from the village.  

“The way that the gospel hit him had a communal effect on the rest of the leaders and people,” said Stephanie. “It’s miraculous to see anyone come to Christ, but especially in this tribe. Men from the Maasai tribe tend to be more difficult to reach.” 

This life-changing message of forgiveness permeates each ABWE ministry undertaken in Tanzania, from theological training to community healthcare, counseling, and skills training. 

He trusted Christ that day, along with three other Maasai leaders and 55 others from the village.  

Nearby in Tanzania, Malaika (name changed for privacy) arrived as the most troubled student this year at Sifa Threads, a program empowering vulnerable young women through sewing, entrepreneurial skills, and discipleship. Traumatized and hated by her family, Malaika continued the pattern of conflict, anger, and shame that had characterized her behavior in her community. But God softened her heart as she daily heard the gospel. In the last month of the program, she approached the Tanzanian manager and declared, “I’m ready to repent. I want to confess to you and to God everything that I’ve done.” 

The manager assured her that God delights in granting forgiveness, and Malaika placed her faith in Christ. Immediately, she resolved to ask for her family’s forgiveness. 

God is working through teams of ABWE missionaries and national believers as they share the good news of forgiveness not only in Africa but around the globe.  

“We always say that it’s a team approach to missions,” explained Stephanie. 

The Global Gospel Fund equips, trains, and logistically supports each missionary field team and family as they proclaim Christ in the darkest places.  

This Christmas, would you join this team through a gift of any size? We are praying that together we will raise over $200,000. These funds will not only support today’s missionary teams reaching 84 countries but will allow us to completely mobilize and onboard 14 more missionaries above our goal. 

Imagine the eternal impact of a whole new missionary team of this size—considering that on average a team this size sees 40 baptisms in the span of a single term.

The need is great—but our God is greater. He has called us to proclaim Christ until the day when every nation worships him. Join faithful laborers like the ABWE Tanzania team to share Christ’s message of hope and forgiveness. 

Time is short. Eternity matters. Make a gift today via the secure link below to join the team and proclaim Christ to the lost and unreached across the world—for the glory of our Lord.