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November-December 2019 newsletter

What Eyes Have Not Seen, Nor Ears Heard

Does word of Algerian church closures cause you to wonder what God is up to? Then you may find news from our team member Mouloud encouraging. He says, “In the midst of the closure of churches, people are turning to the Lord in prayer. Christians are more dedicated to interceding, and the Christian community has fueled seekers with more desire for Jesus in their lives and their families. If so many are on their knees, it must be because the Holy Spirit is going to do something that eyes have never seen and ears have never heard.”
At the same time, our evangelistic efforts through our social media channels are taking off. In early November alone, we reached 41,380 people, and received 141 inquiries.
Imagine the multiplied impact of resuming satellite broadcasts soon!
Now to feed the growing hunger for the gospel, we have produced the first episodes of a new show, Food for the Body and the Soul. It blends the joy of cooking with rich spiritual nourishment to engage North Africans on a whole new level. Please pray for partners to share our excitement about this new means of feeding souls!

Filming photo
Ali and Chef Francois film the pilot episode of Food for the Body and Soul.

DDK Developments

We have finished the French and Arabic translations of an exciting teaching tool called The Story. This Bible study focuses attention on the unfolding plan of God as taught by Jesus in Luke 24 to Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus and to the Apostles. We too need to understand this story well in order to accurately understand the Scriptures. To understand it we need to examine how the Apostles used the Old Testament to preach the Gospel and to teach the churches.
In other news, our trained and experienced translator, Driss, has returned to join our Competency Cohort. Now he and Berti, who are both on the ground in North Africa, can advance our Arabic translation efforts even further.
In this time when church buildings in Algeria are being closed, DDK First Principles Bible studies will greatly help the churches to provide teaching according to “the way of Christ and his Apostles”. What a powerful means to learn to do church without buildings! Meeting in smaller groups and practicing Acts 2:42 – devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to true fellowship, to the Lord’s supper, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer – they will be strengthened to maturity. Such churches will multiply just as they did in the First Century.

Testimony from a young believer: “I could not believe my fellow North Africans had such a love language. But that is the tool by which Jesus conquered our hearts and lives.”

Prayer Points:

  • Praise the Lord that our satellite broadcasting will resume once promised funding arrives!
  • Pray that the 41,380 individuals reached by our social media and the 141 inbound messages will result in face-to-face meetings and conversions to Christ.
  • Praise the Lord for Karim Mestar, long-time ministry partner, who will serve temporarily as our COO/CFO.
  • Pray for Algerian elections set for December 12 amid ongoing protests.
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Changing our Name to Match our Expanded Ministry

Our name is changing. Instead of CNA, we will now be known as SENA: Serving and Equipping North Africans.

Why is the name change? The necessity becomes clear from our ministry story.

  • Originally, North Africa needed an effective means of gospel access. So we established a satellite TV channel for North Africa. We became Channel North Africa.
  • Immediately, the number of responses from seekers and new believers exploded! So we rapidly expanded our follow-up efforts to address all those spiritual questions.
  • New believers then needed discipleship, so we began offering church-based discipleship in the apostles’ core teachings (the didache, which we call “DDK”), translated into the languages of the peoples we serve.
  • Meanwhile, keeping up with the number of people seeking Christian contact—without overlooking anyone or duplicating efforts—required teamwork. So we organized a network of North African churches to coordinate follow-up and discipleship activities across the entire region.
  • The rapidly growing churches needed leaders grounded in Scripture, prepared for persecution, and trained to reproduce. So we began providing advanced leadership degrees via Antioch School cohorts. These students never have to abandon their churches for seminary; they are educated in place, seamlessly training the next generation of believers and leaders right where they currently serve.
  • For the North Africans who live in or travel to our region of France, we are making plans to meet their desperate need for a place of worship and discipleship training in a designated space within our own headquarters.

Can you see what the Lord has done? He has grown us from a small satellite TV channel into a multi-faceted ministry to build up North African believers into equipped Christians capable of leading ministry in their own contexts.

In all the ways described above, we are Serving and Equipping North Africans. It’s time our name caught up with us.

What You Can Expect

 As we move forward, by the grace of God, here’s what you can expect to see. Our broadcasts will still bear the CNA logo. Our website and social media will transition to reflect our new name, logo, and branding. Our newsletters will now come from SENA instead of CNA. But one thing will never change: our continued passion to reach, support, and equip those whom God is calling to Himself from among the North African peoples of every tribe and tongue.

As always, we still labor to make sure:

  • the gospel is proclaimed effectively across North Africa
  • each person who contacts us is led to Christ
  • new believers get connected with solid local churches where they can grow in Him
  • leaders are raised up from within those churches and equipped to serve the Lord boldly in the hostile settings in which they live

We look forward to many more years of serving the Lord by “Serving and Equipping North Africans.” And we welcome your partnership with us on this exciting adventure.

Newsletter articles

September 2019 CNA newsletter

ALGERIAN UNREST: FUELED BY A HISTORY OF CONFLICT

Following three weeks spent ministering on the ground in Algeria, Ali shares his take on current events there.

The city of Algiers

After gaining independence from France on June 1, 1962, Algeria struggled into nationhood under several short-lived presidents. When army chief of staff Houari Boumediene seized control for over 13 years, his Stalin-esque brand of socialism offered little freedom. All the aspirations of this young nation of 2 million people, newly freed from the French yoke, were buried under that ruthless system.

Several democratic demonstrations sparked revolts but these were soon crushed. A series of military-backed leaders oversaw the next two turbulent decades, which included a horrible civil war. After Abdelaziz Bouteflika became president in 1999, he amended the constitution to allow himself as many terms as he wanted.

A Cry for Change

It was Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth presidential term that sparked the latest round of protests. On February 16, 2019, people took over the streets of every city. Their peaceful nationwide demonstrations forced Bouteflika to resign on April 2. Next they brought about the arrest of most of Bouteflika’s family and friends for corruption. Still seeking removal of all the ruling elite, the protest, now dubbed “Al Heerak” (the Movement), continues with massive demonstrations every Friday.

These marches increase the pressure on de facto leader Ahmed Gaid Salah, the army chief of staff. Salah, watching the nation’s economy and its entire infrastructure suffer, has pushed for the election of a new president soon. But Al Heerak, wanting no more military influence in politics, is demanding a transition process toward civilian presidential elections. Recently the group has threatened insurrection if its conditions are not met.

Repercussions on the Church

Further aggravating these tensions is the current government’s intimidation of Christians in Algeria. Two years of mounting persecution have led to the closures of at least five more churches in the last few months alone. 

As Christians continue meeting outside their closed buildings, it is fully possible that hatred and retaliation may erupt. Already, each mention of Christians in the media seeks to alarm the populace and to urge authorities to take action against them.

Algerian believers take one of two views of their troubles. Some oppose the closure of churches, and would do anything to recover use of their buildings. Others hold that church closures will serve to purge the Church of its craving for buildings and resources for ministry; thus the persecution is necessary and inevitable.

How will these events play out? Will the current government be completely removed and replaced by a civil society which might allow the church to exist under a new charter of the constitution? Or will it stay on to prosecute church leaders and ban Christian activity?

Behind the Scenes

The Algerian people’s exposure to the gospel is no longer a secret. This has led thousands to seek the Lord, and thousands to discuss matters of faith. The message of Christ has spread far!

Second church and school being closed in Boudjimaa

At the same time the government is pressing an agenda of arabization and islamization for Algeria. In recent weeks this has intensified as governors ordered all shop owners to write their front signs solely in Arabic. New textbooks for Islamic education in schools will be widely used. At the same time, some speculate that the Quran may soon be used in Berber languages, even the call to prayer.

Further, the country’s obscure relationships with the Gulf nations raise fears that foreign influence could turn Algeria into an experimental bastion of islamization, as happened in Libya. Geopolitics are driving the MENA Region and Africa into a future that doesn’t yet have a name. Certainly islamization is one tool being used to destabilize nations. Will more of creation groan like Syria and Iraq?

Islam adamantly opposes Christianity. So our Christian brothers and sisters need courage and unswerving faith to face the persecution that lies ahead. This fight must begin on their knees. Meanwhile, the raging upheaval and effective grassroots protesting reveals how desperately the people long for a change!

CNA is There

No man-made political solution can ever truly satisfy these longing hearts. So we will keep showing them the way to ultimate peace: the Prince of Peace himself. Your prayers and support make this possible!

Reading the Bible
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Spring 2019 newsletter

View printable version of the newsletter (.PDF)


Dramatic Changes, Unprecedented Opportunities

We hear Syria is struggling to implement a workable ceasefire. Could it be a new day is dawning for the people of the ancient Levant? Yet even should a ceasefire come to pass there, tensions rise elsewhere, as Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming the next bastion of Islamic fighters.

North Africa Keeps Changing

Libya is navigating through the tensions of its ethnic & ideological factions, making it hard to predict any possibility of unity and a way forward to democracy in the nation.

Tunisia is the only country in the region that has successfully laid foundations for its freedom and democracy, but those plans are still in their inception. As that nation hopes to recover a healthy economy, her people are still experiencing hardship and unemployment.

Morocco, however, is paving the way for political change, allowing more freedom of speech. The constitution of 2011 guarantees freedom of worship, yet in practice Christians and churches are being persecuted.

In spite of all the challenges, the Lord continues to move in spectacular ways among North Africans. In Algeria, the Joshua Project estimates the annual growth rate of Christianity is 8.1 %, when the global growth rate is only 2.6%.

This region’s staggering demographic changes create unprecedented opportunities for the gospel to be preached:

  • These mutations of the North African population will require new socio-economic models. The stage is set for an intense religious clash. The Muslim majority will still push for reform in favor of Islam, while other minorities and the army would likely favor a transition to democracy.
  • The recent announcement of the ailing Algerian president Bouteflika’s plan to run for a fifth term has sparked unheard-of antagonistic marches across the country.

Whether it’s transition to new leadership or significant growth in a religious minority, such changes create a climate of uncertainty, in which people seek the hope and peace to be found in Christ alone.

In the midst of these uncertainties, CNA continues to sow the word through Internet streaming and social media. And our follow-up teams on the ground nurture the seeds we have planted online.

Praise God we can keep reaching these needy souls!


Testimony of a New Brother in Christ

“My name is Lamara. I am 50 years old. I have a Muslim background; I practiced Islam as all Muslims do, but I had never felt that God loved me.
“All the time I worked, because life had taught me if you want to be happy you must be rich. So I worked all the time and at last I became rich. I had achieved what I wanted, but I was always nervous, tired, and unhappy.
“I had a Christian friend who told me about Jesus many times, but I was never interested.
“Once while watching TV I was surprised by the CNA channel, because I had never heard about a God who spoke my own language. So I loved it and I invited my wife and my child to follow it.
“God touched me while I was looking the program. Today I am a believer, along with my family. We have now opened our home as a church for the glory of God.
“I thank God for CNA because it has been a blessing for us and for many people.”


Prayer Points:

  • Pray the Lord will raise up 5 more churches to pledge $10K a year to restore our satellite broadcasts.
  • Praise the Lord for continuing His work through CNA even while our satellite signal is silent.
  • Pray for boldness and protection for our follow-up teammates in North Africa.
  • Praise the Lord for bringing more North African people into His kingdom!
  • Pray for Algeria’s April 18 elections.

Photo Captions:
FRONT PAGE—
{Aerial view of demonstrations} – Demonstrators protest Algerian president Bouteflika’s bid for a 5th term.

BACK PAGE—
{Baptism in pool} – A city house church held this baptism service at a pool in Sfax, Tunisia.
{3 men} – These Algerian men recognized Ali from CNA and couldn’t wait to share with him what the Lord has done in their lives since they came to faith.
{Man with baby} – This man and his father may be the only Christians in their very Muslim town.
{Man on right speaking to small group} – Follow-up teammate Mouloud explained the gospel to this mother who had never come to church with her children before. Now all believe!