When Do I Get My Goat?"
WAS IT FOR REAL? COULD IT REALLY BE TRUE? He was so excited, he didn’t know what to do. So he kept jumping up and down, grinning from ear to ear."
Little Babaa was finally going to get his own goat!
Things had never been the same in Bungbar after the visit of the nice fatherly man whom everyone called "Uncle." Few outsiders bothered to step foot in this backwards African village in the Muslim heartland of West Africa. When visitors did come, they usually came to harass, to exploit, or to intimidate.
But Uncle was different. He came to serve, to help, to love—as did his friend, a Christian man whom Uncle later sent in. And everyone in Bungbar took notice. The man talked about a God named Jesus who loved Muslim villagers so much, that He even gave his own life to guarantee them a place in heaven! Could it be for real?
The man also shared that Jesus wasn’t only concerned for their souls, but for their earthly needs too. Like decent clothes to replace their tattered rags. Like sandals to put on their callused bare feet. Like money to send kids like Babaa to school. "That’s why Jesus wants to bless each of you kids in Bungbar with your own she-goat," explained the man. "If you kids take good care of your goat, she’ll produce lots of baby goats, which you then can sell and earn money to pay for your own school fees and school uniforms every year!" Ten-year-old Babaa’s heart raced excitedly. Would Jesus really give him his own goat?
Weeks passed, then months. Other kids in Bungbar started getting their she-goats from Jesus. Babaa was getting impatient. “When am I getting my goat?” he wondered.
Then one day he heard the good news: Uncle had just arrived in the village, and today he would be presenting a goat to Babaa at the new village church!
Babaa threw on his best shirt and pair of shorts and raced barefoot to the church. There before him stood the most beautiful black she-goat he had ever seen! And it was for him--a gift from Jesus! His eyes danced with joy.
Uncle asked him how he felt. Normally a chatterbox, Babaa was too excited to say much. “I’m VERY happy, because this is the first time I could ever own a goat!” he blurted, before running off to graze his new friend and dream of going to school properly dressed for the first time...
THE MAN WHOM THOUSANDS OF VILLAGERS IN WEST AFRICA CALL “Uncle” is Rev. Yahaya, a passionately dedicated missionary to the Muslims. A native of West Africa, Yahaya worked as a science teacher in an Arabic school before the Lord called him to lay down his life to reach his Muslim countrymen for Christ.
The West African nation where Yahaya lives lies smack on the horizontal Muslim-Christian fault line dividing North Africa (Muslim) from Sub-Saharan Africa (Christian). Because this line runs right through the middle of his country, it is a nation divided: the Muslim North versus the Christian South. Lately, the Muslims have been getting more aggressive, shaking up centuries of peaceful co-existence. And for the most part, the Christians remain quietly passive—partly due to fear, and partly due to lack of concern.
But not Yahaya. Tired of seeing Christians on the defensive, he is determined to do all he can—with God’s help—to win thousands of Muslims for Jesus Christ in his homeland. His aggressive goal is to plant 100 churches in 100 Muslim villages within a 180 mile radius of his home.
And with God’s help, it’s happening.
Yahaya’s ministry, called Center for Good News, uses any and all means to introduce Muslims to Jesus Christ. He runs regular training courses to equip native evangelists for Muslim church planting. He operates a very fruitful Bible correspondence course with 95,000 students. He runs a micro-enterprise development program to help poor women.
And he also uses "she-goats" to introduce little Muslim children to Jesus. But why she-goats, and why little children?
Because children represent over 50% of unreached Muslims in his country. Because the vast majority of children live in abject poverty (family income: $1/day), often in large families (due to the Muslim practice of men taking multiple wives). Because their parents can’t afford to buy them school uniforms, or even pay their minimal school fees.
And because she-goats are one of the best ways to help these children financially and spiritually. They’re low-maintenance. They quickly become income generating, as their offspring can be sold again and again to help pay for uniforms and school fees. They preserve the dignity of the poor—a hand up, not a handout. And they represent a cost-effective way—just $20 per goat--to share the love of Jesus Christ with the poor. Many children and their families have already turned to Christ as a result of this she-goat project.
Listen to what other children in the Muslim villages are saying about their she-goats:
"I’m so encouraged, because I am sickly and I am praying that my goat will multiply and help me to live!" -- Liwaanyan (10)
"I’m so encouraged! May the Lord control me and my goat, so it will help me to go to school." – Gmayaaye (7)
"I’m so glad—[because of the goat] my father told me that he won’t scold me anymore for going to church." – Ganiu (9)
"I’m happier than everyone else in my village because I wasn’t going to school, but now my father told me I can go to school!" – Nafisah (7)
"I thank God for this goat! I don’t have shoes now, but I hope through this goat that one day I can buy shoes!" – Amadu (10)
"I’m so encouraged! Thank you very much for giving me a goat, which will help me in my education!" – Iwulim (10)
Not only are they now able to pay for their own school fees, uniforms, and shoes, but also many Muslim children are getting saved through this she-goat project. For example, Liwabi (14), who lost his mother, started attending Sunday school in his village after receiving a goat. He gave his heart to Jesus and was baptized. He sold one of the baby goats to purchase his school uniform and sandals, and he still has three goats left! His testimony is not unique: in many cases, the goat project has been the key to parents letting their kids attend church, through which they come to hear the gospel.
So far, the Center for Good News has distributed she-goats to 600 children in Muslim villages. More than 2,000 children, however, are still waiting in line, asking, “When am I getting my goat?” Meanwhile, angry Muslims are stepping up their vicious campaign of persecution against Yahaya and his fellow co-workers—burning down their grain barns, threatening to demolish new chapels, etc. They are furious that fellow Muslims are slowly leaving the fold. But Yahaya refuses to back down. He knows too much is at stake: eternity is on the line.
This Christmas, as we celebrate the greatest Gift of all, would you come alongside "Uncle" Yahaya by helping him give a gift that keeps on giving—she-goats—to the poor children of West Africa? Your donation of $25 buys a child not only a she-goat but also a one-time gift of school supplies and a school uniform for the same child. Your gift could help send a child to school—and to heaven—at the same time!
Click here to help "Uncle" get more goats.
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