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Editor’s Note: Over 18,000

Columbia International

University alumni serve

in 150 nations. Some of

them minister in countries

that are often referred

to as “closed” because

traditional missionary work

is forbidden. The following

vignettes, gathered by

CIU Professor Emeritus

Dr. Warren Larson, are

described in general

terms, and without

names, due to security

concerns. But Larson

says, “They show that

there is no such thing

as a closed country and

no place on earth where

God is not at work.”

Our family lives in a Muslim-majority country where I teach at a college. Many

students come from an area of the country that has experienced turmoil, and is

generally not accessible to Westerners, so it’s a wonderful opportunity. If the

professor is in, students regularly knock on the office door to chat about matters

they hesitate to mention openly. “Do you find the existentialist explanation for

life’s meaning satisfactory?”...“Can I borrow that book by John Stott?”...“This

is the first time I am sitting in a classroom with girls, and that’s why I am too

shy to say anything.”...“Sir, where I come from people do not want to be part of

this country, we want to be free.”...“You foreigners are the cause of injustice and

extremism in this country!” Other opportunities arise as well. Recently a teacher at

a small community college sent me an intriguing e-mail: “What does your prophet

say about politics?” We have started meeting regularly to delve into precisely that

question! These are the people, and the questions, that we came for. Pray we would

have the wisdom and the words to adequately address them.


After graduating from CIU, God invited us to join His work in a place where the

people are beautiful and fun loving, but we soon discovered their lives were full of

fear, deceit, betrayal, promiscuity and suspicion. How do you share Christ when

Jesus’ Name strikes revulsion in their minds, and fear of damnation, if they should

ever doubt Islam? We’re not starting at ground zero and building up but are

closer to a minus 10. Much of the work for 15 years has been asking God to break

spiritual strongholds, to bring Light to this nation with no existing fellowship of

local believers, and still no Bible in the national language. We spend considerable

time living lives for others to see, loving them for Christ’s sake, and flying His flag

for those who want to know more. We’ve endured ridicule, slander, theft, betrayal,

expulsion and death threats, but the Kingdom of Righteousness is powerful, and like

yeast, continues to grow. Whether we see many or few come to faith, we rejoice in

God’s sovereignty, and count it a privilege to represent Him here.



CIU Today

Fall 2015