A child fleeing from war.
A criminal looking for revenge.
Each year we encounter hundreds of powerful stories that reflect the lives of tens of thousands of people who were impacted by ABWE missionaries.
These are real stories of real people who encountered the life-changing hope of Jesus Christ.
Theirs are the stories that get at the heart of missions; why we do it; why it matters; and why we must continue the work of the Great Commission next year and the next and the next…until the whole world hears.
Abdul had given up on life and wanted to die—and it looked like he might get his wish.
After a successful operation on his colon, Abdul should have recovered, but he had lost the will to live. As a teenager, Abdul found himself living in a refugee camp. Uncertainty was his constant companion, while necessities like food, safety, and shelter were inconsistent.
Morning after morning, he lay in his hospital bed and heard the voices of the nurses beside him during their Bible study. “God is good, all of the time,” they sang.
Each day, hospital workers sat at Abdul’s bedside sharing stories of the Bible with him. Despite their patience and care, Abdul was overcome with despair, refusing to eat or participate in activities that would help in his healing.
It was during this time that Abdul began searching for something to cling to—a permanent source of comfort and protection.
One day Abdul was talking with a member of ABWE’s medical team.
Suddenly, God opened his eyes and he excitedly said, “Tell me about Jesus!”
The stories of God’s abundant grace and enduring promises spoke to Abdul’s deepest needs. It was like he had stumbled upon a well in the middle of an arid desert, and the cool water not only quenched his burning throat, but also his restless soul.
Eventually Abdul was discharged. When he later visited the hospital, the joyful and healthy man who stood before the doctors was hardly recognizable. A beaming Abdul boasted of the joy that had transformed him earlier, declaring “God is good.”
“All of the time,” the team responded.
Abdul’s hunger to know the Lord continues to grow. Although illiterate, ABWE workers were able to share audio recordings of scripture in his native tongue. Despite the risk he faces for being caught with Christian recordings, Abdul has since returned to camp to share with others the same good news that rescued him: God is good, all the time.
Chesa was only two when she was struck by a bullet that injured her and killed her father.
While fleeing Myanmar, Chesa and her family, along with more than 1 million other Rohingya, were forced to flee their homes after being attacked by their Buddhist government’s army.
Their escape to Bangladesh came at a high cost, as families were often separated or killed in the violent exodus. In Chesa’s case, only her mother and one other sibling remained. Everyone else, everything else, was lost in the chaos.
As she was being treated for her gunshot wound by the staff at ABWE’s partner Memorial Christian Hospital in South Asia, Chesa and her mother began to learn of the one person, named Jesus, who would never leave them.
A Muslim sect, the Rohingya have historically despised Christians. However, through its physical and spiritual care, the staff at Memorial Christian Hospital has been able to reach a group of people they have long prayed to impact with the truth. The Rohingya now respectfully refer to them as “the Christians.”
This work is a powerful example of how showing the love of Christ in practical ways—especially to people in crisis—can open the door for sharing the gospel.
Cesar exited the cell, battered and bruised from a recent scuffle, but still bursting at the seams with a deadly rage. He wanted to kill someone. Anyone.
Born and bred on the streets of Santiago, the slender, battle-hardened Chilean only knew one way of survival—violence. He learned to steal at a young age. But Cesar’s crimes intensified as he grew older, eventually escalating to assault. One night, the police cornered Cesar during an armed robbery, intent on killing him.
Desperate and hopeless, Cesar considered provoking them to put an end to his misery. But in that moment, he felt something directing him to peacefully surrender.
Inevitably, Cesar’s unruly spirit spilled into prison life—a trait that quickly made him more enemies than allies.
“The guards hated me,” he says. “The prisoners wanted to kill me.”
At night, the guards sometimes beat him with rods. And one day, after walking back from a period in solitary confinement, Cesar said the other inmates were waiting with homemade weapons to kill him.
As he prepared to fight them, a hand gently touched Cesar’s shoulder and someone said, “Cesar, God is calling you.”
Suddenly a group of inmates encircled Cesar to protect him from his assailants. These inmates were Christians who escorted Cesar to safety.
After spending his life fighting nearly anyone who came near him, this sudden act of compassion felt like a haymaker to the face—the knockout punch that finally brought him low to a state of humbleness. In that moment, with bent knees and a lifetime supply of restrained tears, Cesar gave his life over to the Lord.
This group of Christians adopted Cesar as their own, welcoming him into their Bible study and community. Unsurprisingly, the story of Jesus hanging on the cross beside the two robbers spoke to Cesar’s heart above any other.
The story’s message moved him in such a powerful way, because despite his sinfulness, Cesar was being offered a second chance. And he took it.
Over the next several years, Cesar grew tremendously in his faith. He became a leader within the prison ministry, where he crossed paths with ABWE’s Executive Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Scott Russell. Russell noticed something different about the man whose very presence radiated a warmth not so unlike the sun’s rays on a chilly day.
When Cesar was closing in on his last days in prison, Russell approached him about attending Facultad Teologica Biblica Bautista, an ABWE seminary in Chile. He offered to pay for his tuition. Cesar enthusiastically accepted Russell’s gesture and has been diligently studying God’s word and serving in the local church ever since.
“It’s hard to imagine Cesar in his former life,” said Doug Kreeger, ABWE missionary and a professor at Facultad Teologica Biblica Bautista. “Everybody loves him. He’s full of energy and kindness.”
In two years, Cesar will graduate from the seminary and begin pastoring a church in Santiago.
Years ago, fellow inmates made Cesar into a fisher of men—an improbable catch by all standards. Today, he wishes to do the same with others, casting a wide net to those who are lost and in need of salvation.
Join us as we grow a generous community of givers who want to see huge gains in the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our lifetime.
It’s About People
“Jesus sought to advance God’s kingdom among every tribe, tongue and nation. By the grace of God, ABWE is striving to replicate Jesus’ vision—seeking to glorify God by pursuing the hearts of people. Because billions hang in the balance of eternity,” says ABWE President, Paul Davis.
That is why ABWE has launched the Global Gospel Fund—a fund to help multiply the impact of global missions so that more people can learn of Christ’s life-changing love.
“At the end of the day, when the curtain rolls up and the theological chatter stops, only one thing matters—reaching people,” says Davis. “We must continue to do what we do, so we can reach more of the Abduls, Chesas, and Cesars who are still out there, searching for hope and eternal life.”