find the open door

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At four o’clock in the morning, Sam and Emma* are awakened by the sound of a loud and melodic string of verses that shout from the mosque’s PA system and weave their way through their city’s streets. The Islamic Adhan, or call to prayer, is the couple’s constant reminder of the darkness in which they live.

The first time Sam and Emma moved to North Africa, it was only for a two-year trial period. They wanted to see if the Lord would affirm what they felt in their hearts to be a call to the lost men and women of Islam.

At the end of their term they were nearly fluent in Arabic. They established a language center where locals could learn English from westerners. They hosted a regular fellowship meeting in their home which was on the cusp of becoming a church-plant. They saw a handful of friends choose to turn from Islam and follow Christ. They knew where they belonged.

They rejoiced and knew the Lord led them to this place and that he wanted to use them in great ways. Yet, never far from their mind was a darkened cloud that hung low over their celebration.

Student loan debt they both owed was enough to keep them tethered to the United States for several years. They knew it would mean a pause or even a halt on everything that had grown in their North African city.

They knew where they belonged.

Sam and Emma returned to the United States with a plan to move back after one year. Several months passed as they searched for additional, financial support and they wondered how the Lord would show them an open door. They knew their God-given passion, found the opportunity to serve, but couldn't find a way to bring the pieces into one cohesive puzzle. That's when they stumbled upon The GO Fund.

They applied with the organization’s student loan repayment program and were invited into the initial interview phase. Then, they were asked to attend a partner-selection committee where they would present their ministry to a panel of GO Fund investors.

In their interview, their leveled, wise and thought-through strategy to reach their community resonated with those in the room. Their educated and passionate focus on the people of their city radiated. They shared how they pray for a movement among the Arabic world and that they believe this location could be the epicenter.

Three days later, they were told they had been accepted as partners.

Sam and Emma could finally rest in the assurance that the Lord had brought them to this specific place. They have since been able to joyously flourish and so has their ministry.

Sam and Emma continue to expand their Arabic vocabulary. People continue to come to them for English lessons. A church is growing. Men and women are coming to know and worship the true God. Their family is established, and their cloud is gone. All that remains is joy as they continue to see God work in the hearts of the people he has shaped them to love.


*Names have been changed for security.