Series Code: AFM
Program Code: AFM000013
01:07 Some say that some places in the world are just too hard
01:10 to reach with the Gospel. Guinea would probably
01:13 fit into the hardest to reach of this group.
01:16 With a population of 9 million, this country is a descendant
01:20 of the ancient Sosso Empire of the 1100s. Animism was at that
01:25 time the religion, but it was not long before Muslim tribes
01:29 moved into the area, forcibly converting those that
01:33 they found. Now, Guinea is a bit of a melting pot,
01:37 close to Arab Africa, yet firmly entrenched in West Africa.
01:42 90 to 95 percent of the population is Muslim.
01:45 Marc and Cathy Coleman founded the Susu Project of Adventist
01:49 Frontier Missions in Guinea in the year 2000. And after
01:53 several years of learning the culture and language,
01:56 launched into an active ministry of medical missions,
01:59 friendship evangelism, and development work.
02:01 As young people started to convert, education later became
02:05 part of this program. Now, many years later,
02:09 a thriving church and school, a lay training program,
02:12 and local leaders fill their places. God has shown once
02:16 again that no place is impenetrable, impermeable
02:21 to the Gospel, because God is bigger than all of
02:25 the challenges.
02:28 Hello, we are the Colemans. My name is Marc. I'm Cathy.
02:31 I'm Rebecca. And I'm Chelsea. If you were to ask me,
02:34 "What is your lasting impression of Guinea, or what is
02:38 one picture you have that stays on your mind that left an
02:41 indelible impression upon you?" And I could tell you stories
02:45 from now till next week about checkpoints - military
02:49 checkpoints... There was one particular day when a soldier
02:52 came to the car. We were stopped at a checkpoint.
02:55 And they always had guns, but this young man was full of
02:59 knives, talismans, and a machine gun strapped over his shoulder.
03:03 And it was a particularly tense time in the country. And he
03:06 came up to the car in a very menacing way, and it was a
03:09 little frightening to look at him. We didn't know what
03:12 would happen. But after a quick prayer, and some very pleasant
03:17 exchanges, this young man became our friend.
03:19 And to me this is a symbol of what it was like to work in
03:22 Guinea. Sometimes the obstacles seemed insurmountable
03:26 and very frightening to look at. But through prayer, through
03:29 perseverence, through faith, we saw those obstacles
03:31 become oftentimes the means of blessing and
03:35 opening hearts to the Gospel. Come with us now.
03:38 Let's take a further look at how God opened the door
03:41 of this relatively unreached country.
04:07 From the beginning all the way until now, members
04:10 have faced a variety of challenges. The number-one
04:13 thing is cultural and family issues. But there is another
04:18 area where all of the members have faced a big challenge.
04:22 And that is the area of Sabbath. And so we have a couple of
04:26 members that have especially poignant stories when talking
04:30 about the Sabbath. Joshua is one of those people.
04:32 He is a very gifted locksmith, and he is also a very good
04:35 mechanic, so the pressure for him has been amazing.
05:57 Brother David, one of our faithful members, has also
06:00 faced great persecution from his own immediate family.
06:04 He has made a faithful choice to follow God and to trust.
06:09 One day I was seated at home, and my friend came and said
06:14 to me, "Hey friend, I saw a new church.
06:19 It's called the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
06:25 Can't you go with me today so we
06:26 can visit? But they keep the Sabbath."
06:29 I said, "What in the world is the Sabbath?"
06:38 I came home, and I gathered my whole family together,
06:42 and I said, "I've begun to go to a church, and it's called the
06:45 Adventist Church.
06:50 My children and my wife said, "It's not good. Let's stay where
06:53 we are. It's not good." I said, "Let's go and visit there
06:57 just to see." And I began to go every Sabbath to
07:06 But my friends weren't happy with me at all.
07:10 And they began to really persecute me.
07:13 They all left me. Everyone abandoned me. They
07:16 wouldn't even speak about me. My children at home
07:20 wouldn't listen to me. And above all else,
07:23 my wife turned against me. But I continued to adhere to
07:28 the Adventist Church, especially because of the Sabbath.
07:33 It really, really hurt me on the day of my baptism that
07:37 not one of my family members were there. It hurt a lot.
07:42 But because God was with me, I was happy to be baptized.
07:50 Today I feel good.
07:52 Because what I forgot, what I didn't know,
07:56 what I hadn't yet discovered, that's what I found at the
08:00 Seventh-day Adventist Church.
08:04 When I was at my old church, I was doing all kinds of things,
08:08 especially drinking. But I left all those things behind.
08:11 I thank God so much. And my friends now tell me,
08:15 "It's good that you went to that church. He's changed
08:18 your life." And I said, "Well, you see now, maybe
08:21 that's what He wants for you. Maybe you can come
08:23 and join me."
08:29 Niouma is an interesting story. He first came to
08:32 church on a community guest day. We had a small
08:35 group - five or six people only. But we would have
08:38 community guest day. We would invite a large number of
08:41 people - Muslim, Christian - and we would tell them we were
08:45 going to answer their questions on a particular topic.
08:47 And Niouma was sitting in the back. Well, he ended up
08:51 learning about the truth and becoming a member at the
08:54 school. And that is when the persecution started.
08:58 I remember people talking to him and telling that he
09:02 had made poor decisions, that he would never go anywhere.
09:05 He worked hard. He was teased because he was the only person
09:09 in his class who went all the way through school,
09:11 decided to sit the national exams. That year it didn't fall
09:16 on the Sabbath. And Niouma placed first on the national
09:21 exam in our city. So now, suddenly from being a
09:26 pariah, now he is being congratulated by the very
09:31 people who were discouraging him. But, then again, the
09:34 persecution started and, "So what are you going to
09:36 do with your life now? You can get a full scholarship to
09:39 any university you want to." Which is very difficult to do,
09:41 by the way."Well," he said, "I want to study to be a
09:44 minister." People again began to ridicule him,
09:47 "What's wrong with you? You want to be a minister?"
09:50 They were forgetting what they had said to him before
09:53 and how God had miraculously provided. But he had already
09:55 seen God work for him through his education, and he held firm.
10:33 I'm pleased to tell you today that he is getting very high
10:37 grades at our university in Cameroon. And he is
10:40 preparing for the Gospel ministry. And I just thank
10:43 the Lord for young people like Niouma, who through
10:48 AFM, through the faithful prayers and support of
10:52 people like you who want to build up the work in very
10:56 difficult places, Niouma is now preparing for the Gospel
10:59 ministry for this country, that as of yet, has no
11:04 national Seventh-day Adventist minister.
12:23 It's not an easy thing to face the persecution that people
12:26 face when they do make a choice to become a Christian.
12:29 The challenges are amazing, and that's why it's so
12:32 important - the biblical ideal of a family in Christ
12:35 made up of all nations so that we can provide the
12:38 support structure for those who are being pushed away
12:41 from their familiies as a result of their decision
12:44 to follow Christ.
18:07 Linda Scabey had been attending a lot of different churches
18:10 over a period of time, trying to find one that
18:13 taught the truth. She was finally introduced
18:17 to our little Adventist group here, and she started
18:20 attending. She was impressed by the the way the Bible was
18:24 taught and how it was taught simply so that everyone
18:27 could understand. And so, she wanted to share this
18:30 experience with her son, Ousmane, who was around
18:33 the age of 11 at that time. But he didn't want to
18:36 have anything to do with Christianity.
18:39 But even though outwardly he didn't want to have
18:41 anything to do with it, inside he was battling.
18:46 Because he would go to the mosque, and he would hear
18:48 the imams preach, "Don't steal."
18:51 And yet, everyone still stole, and it was just normal.
18:54 He would hear the imams preach, "Don't lie."
18:57 But yet, if you told a good lie and didn't get caught at it,
19:00 you were considered clever or smart.
19:02 The imams would preach to stay healthy and stay away
19:05 from bad eating habits and keep your body in good shape.
19:09 Yet the town was of full so- called Muslims who were
19:13 alcoholics, smokers, drug abusers, and just so many
19:16 things. So he was confused. He wasn't sure if he really
19:19 wanted to embrace Christianity yet.
19:24 Time went on, and one day his mother came
19:28 to our house and shared with us that Ousmane had a serious
19:31 hernia, and she was asking for help.
19:38 So we talked it over with the team and decided that it
19:41 would be a good thing if we could help him get an operation.
19:56 So we arranged for him to have an operation, and fortunately
20:01 it was successful and went very well. And after he got
20:05 out of the hospital, he came with his mom to our house
20:09 and thanked us for what we had done.
20:11 After that, it's like something changed. And he started
20:15 coming to church on Sabbath with his mom. And pretty soon
20:19 he was a regular attendee. And he really seemed to
20:21 be enjoying it.
20:23 He joined a Bible study group and even expressed a desire
20:27 to be baptized. And we were just really excited about it.
20:36 And on top of all that, he even raised his hand to be
20:40 a cell Bible study group leader. We were just really amazed
20:44 at how the Holy Spirit had just transformed his life
20:47 from him starting out before not wanting to have
20:49 anything to do with Christianity to being so on
20:52 fire for the Lord and so eager to spread the Word.
20:55 So we were just really, really excited about that.
20:57 But it wasn't always easy for him.
21:07 He faced a lot of opposition from his family, a lot of
21:10 persecution. Ousmane went down to Conakry for
21:15 summer break, and he went down to visit his father.
21:19 And his father was a very strong Muslim.
21:22 One Sabbath, Ousmane wanted to go to church. He didn't know
21:26 where the Adventist church was in Conakry, so he started
21:29 asking around, and he found it. So he attended church
21:32 that Sabbath, and when he got home, his father wanted to
21:35 know where he had been. So Ousmane said,
21:37 "Well, I went to church." And his father was very angry.
21:40 He said, "If you go to that church again,
21:41 I'm going to kill you." He just said it point blank.
21:44 He said, "No son of mine is going to be a Christian."
21:48 His mom even had the same problem. She received
21:52 relatives that were threatening to take all of her children
21:54 away from her. She had five kids - Ousmane and his four
21:58 sisters. And she was threatened to have them all taken away
22:01 from her if she didn't stop coming to our Adventist church.
22:08 But they remained faithful, and Ousmane just continued
22:12 coming to church, continued growing. And we were just
22:17 really, really excited over what God had done
22:20 in his life.
22:36 We had waited for a long, long time for our candidates
22:40 to be baptized here in Fria.
22:43 They had gone through Bible studies for over a year,
22:49 but yet a pastor had not been tasked to come here to do
22:54 the baptisms. Our baptismal candidates asked us,
22:58 "When are we going to get baptized?"
23:00 "When are we going to be able to join your church?"
23:04 "We've gone through study, after study, after study and
23:07 we are ready."
23:12 As we waited, we prayed. We contacted AFM. We shared
23:15 with them our burden and our concerns.
23:18 Souls were at stake.
23:20 We had young university students, young men eager
23:24 and ready to give their hearts to the Lord and to be
23:28 baptized and become members of this church, but yet silence.
23:32 And so the struggle, the struggle continued.
23:37 But God performed a miracle, and we received a letter
23:42 from the Union stating that they had given Marc the
23:46 permission to now baptize our candidates.
23:50 Everyone was excited! We arranged the dates.
23:54 We arranged everything, and the announcement went out
23:58 that the Seventh-day Adventist church was going to have
24:01 a baptism. And not only did we have a baptism,
24:06 but we also had a baby dedication. Two little
24:09 children were dedicated to the Lord that day.
24:12 And after that, the baptismal candidates went to get
24:18 prepared to put on their robes for baptism.
24:21 You should have just heard the church. The church was just
24:24 singing - we were full of joy! We realized that God had
24:27 performed a miracle. We had waited two years for this
24:30 day to happen.
24:33 And when Marc said, "It's time now."
24:36 We all marched outside. We have a little baptistry
24:40 outside, a cemented baptistry. We all walked outside.
24:44 We all surrounded that baptistry. And one by one, the
24:49 candidates were baptized.
24:54 But then there was a solemn, solemn moment.
24:56 Our last candidate, the fourth candidate,
24:59 as he approached the baptistry,
25:02 I could slightly see tears coming from his eyes.
25:07 And as he held his face like this,
25:11 he walked up the steps and down into the water.
25:17 And my husband asked him, "Alexandre, what is it?"
25:22 And Alexandre proceeded to share with us
25:29 his deep concern about Jesus having had trials
25:35 after his baptism. And how He faced 40 days in the
25:40 wilderness being tempted by Satan. And he, too, thought
25:45 at that moment, will he be able to stand like Jesus?
25:49 He's getting ready to be baptized. What trials
25:53 will he be facing? Will he be able to stand firm for Jesus?
26:01 He solicited prayers, our prayers. He asked the entire
26:04 church congregation to please pray for me as I make
26:07 this step and this commitment into the watery grave
26:10 and to become a Christian, to become a Seventh-day
26:13 Adventist Christian. And so he went down
26:16 and he came up. Singing went up again. We were just really
26:21 so excited about this time. After that, we decided we
26:27 wanted to have a Bible game.
26:29 And it just did my heart well
26:33 when I saw all of our young,
26:36 new believers searching their Bibles for the answers.
26:41 They are truly Bible students now. They know their Bibles.
26:49 And after that, we all were able to walk out together
26:55 as a group, praising the Lord, singing down the road
27:00 because of what miracle God performed that day.
27:05 This was truly, truly a day to remember.