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Counting the Cost: East Africa

It is out of love for his people that Nick shares Christ with them, even though each time he does, he risks his life.
“How many times do you have to do this before you realize I’m telling you the truth?”

That response earned Nick* a smack across the face. In August, he was kidnapped along with his brother in Christ, Andrew, and driven hours outside his hometown. Nick’s family had lost all hope that he would convert back to Islam, trying several times, with no success, to convince him to return to their faith. This time, their objective was not to persuade. This time, their objective was to take his life.

Nick and Andrew were dragged out onto the beach in East Africa. The family planned to leave the pair out in the middle of the ocean to die. As the two awaited their fate, a strange noise grew louder and louder. A buzzing surrounded their captors. The two brothers quickly realized that a swarm of bees was attacking the men. Taking advantage of the chaos, Nick and Andrew made a quick escape and found a way to call an Assemblies of God World Missions Live Dead (LD) missionary who drove to their location and brought them home.

Nick has been kidnapped over 15 times, but as he and I speak, just days after this most recent incident, his spirit seems undeterred by all the trauma he’s faced. He’s friendly, quick to smile or crack a dry joke, and his eyes light up when he’s about to say something mischievous.

When one of the women on the LD team called him “sassy,” the team’s leader, Robert, objected, explaining to Nick that the term was much too feminine and laughingly insisted he be called “spicy” instead.

Nick is just one of seven of this region’s Band of Brothers or BoBs, and at 31, he’s the oldest of the group. The AGWM WorldView team got the chance to meet them on a recent trip. These seven men, of whom Nick is the oldest, have all become believers within the last two years among a people that is almost 100% Muslim.

As of the writing of this article, there are no women in this BoBs. The seven men mark the beginning of the indigenous church in their region, the first known Christians there to have been born and raised as Muslims. There are other Christians in the area, but they are generally not native to the region and settle there to work in the tourism industry. Nick shares that these Christians can be wary of ministering to their Muslim neighbors.

“I was 28 years old before somebody came and shared with me about who Jesus is,” Nick tells me. “It took somebody from America to come and share the gospel with me. Can you imagine that?”

To read the rest of this in-depth and inspirational article on East Africa, click here and begin reading at the break on Page 7 of Worldview magazine (Vol. 9, Issue 6).

*Name changed for security.

Haley Victory Smith

Haley Victory Smith is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She has previously worked as a breaking news reporter for the Washington Examiner and an editorial fellow for the opinion section at USA Today.