The Cook family has seen God open doors to build relationships and share the gospel in the predominantly Muslim country where they serve. IMB Photo“Then Philip opened his mouth and… he told him the good news about Jesus..” (Acts 8:35)
For Jason and Allison Cook* history does repeat itself. Like Philip in the Bible, the Cooks obeyed God’s call on their life and traveled to another land. After living and working in Northern Africa for several years, the couple remains thankful for the Southern Baptist churches who faithfully support international missionaries who share the Truth.
“I was 17, when my church in Alabama brought in 20 international personnel explaining the dire need for missionaries around the world.” Allison explained. “My eyes were opened, and I knew I wanted to be a missionary, too.” Years later, on her first date with Jason, the conversation revolved around each of their commitments to serve. And that conversation led to marriage, children and their dream jobs.
Jason manages a local branch of an international company in North Africa offering camps for children and trainings for adults.
“We host any who will accept an invite into our home,” Allison said. “We get to know them – their needs, their families, their hopes. We live life with them.”
Whatever their own family does – shopping, children’s school activities, birthday parties, trips to the park – they share the Truth, she added.
“Our children have many school friends. So, we often invite the families for dinner, and we host several fun holiday events each year,” she said. Nearly 98% of the people in this Northern Africa nation claim Islam as their religion, but they are curious about Western customs and culture.
And technology helps the family meet new people.
“We partner with another group that offers a website for the curious and seekers of faith,” Allison clarified. “Then, we contact them and share with them and offer Bibles.”
Each contact opens up the possibility for mentoring which also means dealing with the messy, difficult problems in life
“See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36b)
Allison shared a story about Amir*. Five years ago, he was a 19-year-old seeker listening to Jason and a teammate share the truth of the gospel at a coffee shop by the sea. Amir looked out the window and said, “Here is water. What keeps me from being baptized?” And like the Ethiopian in Acts, he began his journey as a believer and was baptized.
“Amir was discipled by Jason and a teammate,” Allison said. “And immediately, he began to share his new life.” In three weeks, his best friend became a follower. Amir kept telling everyone he met, even while experiencing persecution. He was disowned by his family, kicked out of his home, beaten, lost jobs, hungry and sometimes homeless because of his commitment to Christ.
“But he never wavered in his faith, continually speaking to his people,” Allison said. Then in March 2021, he struggled with massive pain in his mouth. Still, Amir continued to talk.
“On the day of his dentist appointment, my husband watched Amir share the Truth with a friend,” Allison shared. “He watched as Amir’s mouth literally swelled up with each word he spoke.” The Cooks and their team found out that Amir needed extensive, costly dental work. The team began to pray and told Amir that they knew the Father would provide.
As one team member said, “Amir is literally the mouthpiece of God and Satan is attacking that mouthpiece directly.”
A few weeks later, the Cooks were visiting their Alabama home church. The church presented them with a monetary love offering.
“As we received the money, Jason and I began to weep,” she said. “When they raised this money, we had not asked for it, nor had they known about Amir’s dental work. We saw how the Father truly provided.”
“. . . as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns” (Acts 8:40b)
Jason and Allison are grateful for the loyal, reliable Southern Baptist churches that tell the stories of international missionaries, pray for those missionaries, give financially, and inspire members to go.
“Your financial gifts really do impact the work and the world,” she said. “Your commitment to inspire even a teenage girl makes a difference. You never know who God will be calling next to be the mouthpiece of God.”
Please pray for Jason and Allison:
Pray that they will use their time wisely.
Pray that their children will be “little ambassadors.”
Pray for more missionaries to serve in Northern Africa.
Pray for new believers who face persecution.
It’s not too late to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to support missionaries like Jason and Allison.
*Names changed for security
Janice Backer is a contributing writer for the IMB.
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