Nothing that Haggai leader Bilal* does is easy. A church planter and Christian leader in Asia, he faces secular laws against talking about Jesus.
As the founder and director of a registered organization, Bilal works against financial hurdles to keep his business going daily. But in everything, Bilal has God on his side. And with the confidence that truth gives him, he remains steadfast amidst those many challenges, continuing to spread the Good News across his country.
“I am always praying and trying my best to be an example of faith fullness in all areas of my life to influence the people I meet with the Gospel,” said Bilal. “Haggai has helped prepare me for this lifestyle—the equipping I received has empowered me with a better understanding of The Word and how to share it, and with the confidence to help the leaders here work more effectively toward His glory.”
Bilal’s approach is simply to cover a lot of ground. Not necessarily on foot, but across many mediums that allow him to share Jesus’s love and story. That includes developing a small group for Bible study and discipleship, church planting and training other church planters to grow successful ministries, and inspiring leaders to come up with new ways to reach the Gospel poor in their respective communities.
“In [one area of my country], both non-Christians and new Christians alike were looking for someone to come to them on a regular basis to preach and teach them about the Gospel,” he says. “By the grace of God, He made it possible. I was able to equip the leaders in that area to begin ministering to the people there — a group of people that had been previously ignored and completely unreached by the Gospel.”
Bilal also uses his YouTube channel to share the Gospel. He interacts with both Christians and non-Christians through social media, sharing God’s message in ways that are approachable to the younger generation.
Bilal teaches academics and practical skills to youth through his organization. He has developed a curriculum that urges young people to conquer their own challenges — poverty, discrimination, and ignorance — through learning. As they learn, they become empowered with knowledge, confidence, and skills and are therefore better prepared to enter the world as young professionals.
They’re also more prepared to share what they’ve learned about Jesus. As another medium, Bilal lets Jesus’s story seep into the culture by providing Christian education and Bible study to students. Aiding them “to grow in faith and live like salt and light for the world,” Bilal leverages his experience and expertise as a Christian leader to ignite a Christian movement from within his organization. He organizes ongoing activities where children, youth, and their families can hear the stories of the Gospel including through Vacation Bible School, Bible lessons, kids’ games, motivational workshops for youth, and the “Jesus Film Project.”
“’The Lord will make you the head, not the tail’ is what it says in Deuteronomy 28:13,” said Bilal. “We are approaching education through awareness, knowledge, and understanding, promising creative, optimistic, and confident skills in a faith-based learning environment. Keep praying that we can complete this vision for His glory.”
Bilal’s organization also provides education options for Christian families who can’t afford regular school. So far, they’ve helped around 70 families, have more than 100 students enrolled, and have seen 50 boys and girls commit their lives to Jesus. They’re working to translate Christian books into a local language and iron out their English language program, which hosts Bible-based English language classes.
“The Virtual Haggai Leader Experience gave me the strategies and models to present to Gospel to the non-Christian community here in [my country],” said Bilal. “I have felt good confidence and the power of the Spirit on many different occasions to shift the normal talk to a Gospel-based discussion. I feel a new boldness through the power of God’s Word to share what I know, and I believe that I will be able to fulfill the vision God gave me.”
Bilal’s vision includes reaching 3,000 people in his country with the Good News and equipping 500 leaders to do the same. His hope is to see many people come to Jesus and His name be glorified across his nation. For Bilal, that’s certainly a lot of ground.
Written by Jennifer Colosimo
*Name changed for the protection of privacy.