Reaching the Unreached & Overcoming Obstacles
For more than 11 years, International Mission Board missionaries Andy and Marie Hoffman shared the Gospel with an unreached people group in North Africa. And over the years, dozens if not hundreds of women have walked across the stage in the Miss Alabama USA competition. But when Lauren Gray, 22, of Huntsville entered the contest, she rolled across in a motorized wheelchair.
For more than 11 years, International Mission Board missionaries Andy and Marie Hoffman shared the Gospel with an unreached people group in North Africa. Along the way they experienced only a few of the nomadic farmers and desert horsemen come to faith in Jesus Christ. They were also working to translate the Bible into the heart language of the people.
Starting in Genesis, they released the Scriptures book by book on a website they were using for the project. They also created audio copies of the Scriptures since the people communicate mostly through spoken word.
After the translation was almost complete, a group of five nationals came to Andy, professing faith. They asked to be baptized. Tom was among them and came out of the baptismal waters audibly rejoicing.
Tom’s life was transformed from the inside out. One day, he came to the Hoffmans, saying he needed to confess something. Public confession of sin was practically unheard of in this culture.
Sometimes, Tom missed work as a translator never explaining his absence. During those times, he’d been doing an illegal, but lucrative, activity on the side.
“As we go through the Bible daily, I realize I can’t do this anymore. It’s wrong; it’s a sin,” Tom said.
Not long after, Tom’s wife became ill. The Hoffmans were afraid he’d return to this illegal side-hustle to afford treatment. Tom, however, remained convinced that the Lord would provide. And God did. Tom received a promotion at another job, providing more stability and significantly more money.
The Hoffmans are convinced the difference, from the years of no fruit to the Spirit softening hearts and drawing them to Himself, is this: These people now have the Word of God.
Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs
Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
Over the years, dozens if not hundreds of women have walked across the stage in the Miss Alabama USA competition.
But when Lauren Gray, 22, of Huntsville entered the contest, she rolled across in a motorized wheelchair.
Although Gray didn’t win the coveted crown in the January pageant, she considers the award of Miss Congeniality much more important.
“I have the opportunity to share my faith and promote programs that will help others with disabilities,” Gray said.
Her platform as Miss Flint River was, “Don’t Let the Obstacles Get in the Way.”
Friends knew Gray had a story to share and signed her up for the pageant, but she admitted it was “out of my comfort zone.”
She was born with arthrogryposis (anthro-gri-posis), a rare disorder that causes joints and muscles to become stiff and weak, restricts movement, causes spinal curvature and underdeveloped limbs, and more. She has been in a wheelchair since age 3, learning to operate a motorized chair as a child.
To date, Gray has had 18 surgeries, including rods inserted into her spine to help correct scoliosis.
A senior accounting major at Athens State University, Gray plans to graduate in December and pursue a master’s degree.
Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.
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