Following is the story of a team member who gave a year to North Africa. She shares her surprises, discoveries, and experiences.

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In a blink of an eye, my year in North Africa ended and I’m in awe of just how quickly the year passed. I thought returning home to a familiar church, loved ones, and all the things I knew would feel normal, but it all feels new. What I realize now is that it’s not anything back at home that’s different—it’s me.

I’m not the same person who left for North Africa.

My year in North Africa was less about me, and more about God, about bringing God glory. I strived to ensure that everything I did was God-glorifying. The land is a dark, broken, sinful land in desperate need to hear the truth about Jesus. That had to remain the focus.

Whenever I experienced a difficult day, I had to remember the “why” that I was there—that many have yet to hear the gospel and I must boldly share Jesus with everyone at all times.

I was surprised at how open young women were to hear the gospel, and as time progressed, to see the miraculous happen. I witnessed many young women pray to Jesus for the first time, read the Word of God, and excitedly question my walk with the Lord. The young women I befriended brought me into their homes, and their families became mine. I always had a Muslim family reaching out to make sure I felt secure, healthy, and well fed during my time there.

I thought how beautiful it was that so many families openly welcomed a Christian in their homes who spent so much time with their daughters.

I discovered how easily trust was built. I made a friend early on who was eager to hear about my walk with Jesus but quick to argue that the Bible was corrupted. I knew that my own words had no power. Soon after, she walked around my apartment reading the Scriptures that I had hung on the walls. She was moved and instantly brought to tears. The Word of God is powerful all on its own, and I got to be there as the Holy Spirit moved in her heart. It was then she could hear the gospel and she became interested in being part of a church one day. Praise Jesus!

Another one of my favorite moments was during Ramadan when an intern and I created fifteen devotionals for our friends to ponder every day of their holy month. Our little journals started conversations and breakthroughs in their lives, but it was difficult to know that unless they made the choice to follow Jesus, their eternities wouldn’t change. It was often a spiritual and mental fight to press on and believe for the miraculous to happen in them, but God has moved and many now long to have a relationship with Him. I just got a message from a friend who said, “Thank you for showing me faith and being a light to me and so many here in this city. You brought hope into my life.”

The Holy Spirit continues a great work in her heart along with many others, and I’m honored to have been one small part in what God is doing in their lives.

Learning the local language is a core value of Live Dead, and it was very difficult for me. But I found there is nothing more powerful than witnessing to someone in her heart language. I had to surrender feeling inadequate and comparing myself to others in my class who were incredible in language. It didn’t come as easy to me and I realized I had to give that area of life to Jesus. I’m honored to have a glimpse and taste of Arabic. It’s made me passionate about language learning and I plan to study it a few nights a week in America.

This whole experience has made me want to be a lifelong learner. I am daily learning and discovering the importance of being a voice for the billions who have yet to hear the gospel. I long to be a part of that and to be a part of raising up others to pray, give, and go. My experience drives me. Imagine what it would be like if North Africa was no longer known for Islam.

Imagine what it would be like if Jesus was famous in North Africa and everyone desired a relationship with Him. Lord, let it be!

My year in North Africa changed me from the inside out. I will never be the same, and I pray in this new season I will live to glorify Jesus above all else.

For more on giving a year with Live Dead, click here.

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