by an Alliance international worker serving in North Africa
When we arrived in North Africa, our plan was simple: open an internet café, make contacts, and make disciples. We expected to complete our work in two years, leaving behind a growing national church. However, God had other plans.
Not Our Ways
The café was in the lower level of our home. For the first few months, most of our clients were kids who came at all hours of the night. Many of our adult clients came only to make sure the café was safe for their children. We asked God to send us adults, hoping to reach business people with the gospel.
Eventually, the Lord brought us teenagers who became our first ESL students. As our ministry grew, we established our English Language Center and moved into a new building, which we still occupy.
The growing, thriving national church was still a dream after almost 15 years. We had many opportunities to share the gospel with our students, but we made few disciples through the center and we had to close the café. However, as Scripture reminds us, God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (see Isaiah 55:8).
A New Project
Before the pandemic, my husband and I returned to school. While my husband studied for his PhD, I pursued a master’s in education. God impressed a new project on our hearts during that time: to open a Christian school in a country where almost everyone else adheres to another religion. It seemed impossible.
I finished my degree during the pandemic, thrilled to have additional skills and knowledge to use at our English center. Once again, God had other plans. While I was shopping at a local bakery, I ran into the family of a girl who had been involved with Girl Scouts alongside my daughters. The mother mentioned that she wanted to take English classes online through our program.
After she had completed a few classes, she asked me to take on another student—her son. I had homeschooled my daughters but hadn’t planned to homeschool children from other families. My husband and I prayed, and Jesus reminded us of His words when His disciples tried to drive the children away from Him: “Let the little children come to me” (Matt. 19:14). That year, I led two non-Christian children through the Christ-centered curriculum I had used with my daughters. Jesus opened our hearts to a ministry we hadn’t foreseen.
Thanks to God’s faithfulness and the constant prayers and support of our Alliance family, we have been teaching students from the local community for three years now. Each year, although our school is not officially registered, God brings us more families to serve. We started as a one-room school, offering instruction to children by day and adult ESL classes by night. Today, we have expanded into three classrooms and serve 10 students across multiple grade levels.
The Way Forward
When we arrived in North Africa, we failed to model Christ’s love toward the children who visited our café. While we engaged them in spiritual discussions, we prayed under our breath, “Lord, send them away. Bring their parents. Bring the adults.” We did not understand what God was doing.
Today, when we encounter these children as adults, many of them still recall their conversations with us. Some even ask for prayer. We couldn’t have imagined the lasting impact we would have on them just by welcoming them into our café. We have learned to say, “Let the children come.”
Some of our students have been overlooked or rejected by other schools. One of our students, Alie, is dyslexic and spent two years out of school. Now 11 years old, she is at the level of a third grader in her academic development. Although we had never taught someone with her unique learning needs, we said, “Let her come.” Our school also drew students from Spain and Sudan who spoke little to no English when we met them. Again, we said, “Let them come.”
Our school is in the Lord’s hands. He provides for our needs according to His purposes and His timing. Recently, to meet our increased staffing demands, He provided five Christian educators to lead our classes and partner with us in prayer for our students. We are grateful for those who join us in prayer. Pray for our teachers—for those who have joined our staff and those who have yet to come. We are asking God to provide more teachers who are skilled with students who have special learning needs.
The Lord has also provided funding from people who share His compassion for the children of North Africa—we are so grateful for our donors! Some of our students cannot afford tuition, books, and other supplies. God meets their needs through our donors, whose generosity also enabled us to purchase land to expand our ministry among overlooked families.
We are seeking the Lord’s guidance and provision for each step of our expansion efforts. We are in the early stages of building the North African Christian Academy (NACA) on the land we purchased. We still need authorization and additional funds to move forward with the project, so as we trust Him with several key steps, we invite prayers for open doors and open hearts. With a faithful network of donors and prayer partners, NACA will be a guiding light for students seeking the way to God’s eternal Kingdom!
Bring Christian Education to This Under-reached Country
Only through the generosity of Alliance family and friends are children in this North African country able to receive an education rooted in Christ. All current education is based on either the country’s majority religion or secular teaching. To have a lasting Kingdom impact on under-reached children and their families, click here; select “a project you love/Find a project”; and type in “N Africa Christian Academy.”
Learn more about Alliance strategic projects throughout the world in need of your prayers and financial support by requesting a copy of the 2022–2023 Strategic Giving Opportunities Gift Catalog at [email protected] or by calling (866) 443-8262 toll free.
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