Immanuel: At Christmas and Every Day

By Jessica Schaeffer, RN, serving at Koutiala Hospital for Women and Children, Mali, West Africa

The following is an adapted excerpt from Jessica’s recent update.

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”) [Matthew 1:23].

In the challenges of these past months, I’ve often reminded myself, “Jesus is with me right now.” What a gift to know that He will never leave me or forsake me. I am not alone because of Immanuel, God with us. And what a joy it is to see others come to know the Gift, to enjoy the presence of Jesus in their lives.

God with Salif

Salif came to our hospital a year ago looking for help. The teenager had been in a moped accident two years previously and broken the bone in his thigh (femur). He hadn’t received proper care, so a piece of bone was sticking through his skin and chronically infected. Salif spent a lot of time watching Christian films during his hospital stay.

Ever since his discharge from the hospital last spring, he has come to church with me. Just recently, God answered our prayers: Salif decided to follow Christ!

A few days ago he visited me, discouraged because his father continues to verbally persecute him for having become a Christian and has threatened to kick him out. After missing school since his accident, Salif was finally back in school, until a few weeks ago when his father pulled him out . . . apparently a consequence of his profession of faith in Jesus.

As I talked with Salif, I kept reminding him that even in the difficult things he is facing, he is never alone—God is with him, and at any moment, we can cry out to Him for help.

Pray for Salif, that he will grow in his faith, and that He will know God’s presence with him, even in the midst of rejection and persecution from his family.

It is a joy to see others find Jesus and experience God’s presence with them always. Thanks for your important part in helping people to know and experience Immanuel. May you know His love and presence today—and every day.

What You Can Do

Pray for Alliance workers the world over. “Although life has been rich and full over these past months,” Jessica wrote this fall, “I’ve also been fairly overwhelmed with my workload. Sometimes the pressure is great, and I feel ready to despair. But my hope is set on Jesus, who I know will continue to help me through your prayers.”

Partner with Alliance workers like Jessica to share the light of Christ—Immanuel—with those living in spiritual darkness. Be Light—give to the Great Commission Christmas offering!


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