Aïsha’s Story of Hope
Francophone Africa is not just a region in conflict between Islam and Christianity — there are ancient tribal religions here, animism, and witchcraft.
When Aïsha’s mother was pregnant with her, a Voodoo priestess prophesied that Aïsha would one day inherit her demonic powers. Aïsha’s mother was happy to hear this — because everyone in the village knew: her baby would be able to wield black magic!
Spiritual warfare is real. The power of faith is real. Believers in the Voodoo woman’s prophecy were eager to engage Aïsha’s occult “powers” for their own ends … and Aïsha’s mother and family profited from it.
Aïsha’s great-grandmother initiated her into the ways of witchcraft, and as a young child Aïsha was compliant to her family’s wishes — when someone paid or bartered to get a blessing from her or for her to put a curse on someone or something, she did as she was told.
Of course she was exposed to the many rituals and sacrifices demanded of a witch doctor. She saw and heard and felt things we can only imagine —
But it wasn’t until Aïsha became a teenager that things got out of hand.
Like any teenage girl, Aïsha had her moods — and her mother, convinced Aïsha had black magic powers, became afraid of her. She began seeking out Christians, prophets, and pastors, asking them to cast the demons out of her daughter … but no one could help her.
Then Aïsha’s friends began pestering her to come to their new Bible study group. At first of course she was reluctant — she was supposed to be a Voodoo priestess! The friends were persistent though, and she finally went with them.
There she received the Book of Hope and was captivated by the story of Jesus. She asked many questions about Christ, His story, and what it meant to her … and that very day she chose to follow Jesus!
She was delivered from the demonic powers that once controlled her, and today she is learning and growing in God.
Thank you for sending God’s Word to show Aïsha the way to true freedom in Jesus! Your contribution to OneHope today will help more young people like her discover new life in Christ.
Lumière Project Highlights
French-speaking West Africa is a challenging spiritual area, with strong influences from Islam and animism, but a place where open evangelism efforts can legally — and for the most part — safely take place in the Islamic world.
Through the Lumière Project, children and youth have the chance to encounter the truth of God’s Word. Using specialized programs such as The GodMan film, the Children’s Animated Edition Book of Hope (with illustrations from the film), and God’s Big Story, our partners ignite evangelism efforts and establish the need for a church.
- More than 3,000 churches have been planted across 14 countries since the project began.
- 70% of these churches have a children’s ministry and 50% have a teen ministry.
- 116 denominational groups have partnered to plant churches.
- 58% of the Lumière Project churches have been planted in communities without a Christian presence.
The Lumière Project truly represents God’s light for French- speaking Africa. Sharing God’s Word with the next generation through local churches that then plant new churches is an inspired strategy that will make a transformative impact in the region.
More than 749,000 children have been reached through the Lumière Project.
- 2023 Faith Goal: God’s Word for 2.8 million children and youth in 14 nations of French-speaking Africa.
- In these 14 nations, about 69% of the population is rural, and 16% live in or around large cities.
- 106 different languages are spoken, with French as one of the official languages of all 14 nations.
- Some of these nations are on the list of limited access nations whose names we don’t put in print.
Impossible dream … achieved!
NEXT IMPOSSIBLE DREAM … STARTING NOW
When our Francophone African team met back in 2015 and first conceived of the Lumière Project, to reach 6 million children with God’s Word and plant 3,300 new churches … it seemed like “the impossible dream.”
But with a systematic blueprint for using OneHope Scripture programs for a unified front of churches from 116 denominational groups to reach village after village, we implemented the plan — and on April 23, 2023, the 3,300th church was launched!
The “impossible dream” has been achieved — Praise God!
And now the new goal for the Lumière Project has been set: a church for every sub-Saharan village in Africa!
How the Lumière Project began
OneHope partners in French-speaking Africa met in 2014 to pray and strategize a way to reach the next generation and plant churches across a region that not only has a strong Islamic population but is also the birthplace of Voodoo and home to many followers of ancient tribal and animist religions.
They came up with the Lumière Project, a plan that allowed local churches to use OneHope Scripture programs to reach children and youth, and then establish faith communities in villages where children and their families had come to faith.
OneHope Francophone Africa Director Jim Byh was instrumental in fleshing out the details of the program and saw it launched in 2015, just one year before he passed away. The exceptional program, which has already achieved its initial church-planting goals, is in many ways a tribute to Jim’s passion and leadership.
OneHope South Asia:
LIMITED ACCESS NATIONS RECEIVING THE WORD OF GOD
South Asia is a region that encompasses several limited access nations — places where Christians may face persecution or where political or religious barriers stand against the free proclamation of the Good News.
Vivek Idicula, our digital strategy director for Southeast Asia, understands this very well — he grew up in a limited access nation and as a young man was brutally beaten because of his family’s commitment to Jesus. For weeks he was hospitalized with severe injuries.
“My father urged me to forgive those men,” Vivek remembers. This advice changed his perspective on who Jesus is and deepened his dedication to the faith. Today he says …
“God calls everyone to faith, but His eye is on the younger generations. At OneHope, we are well positioned to reach the children and take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”
Living A Legacy
By OneHope President Rob Hoskins
The Bob and Hazel Hoskins School of Mission is part of Southeastern University, an educational program named to honor the faith-filled walk and missions impact of my parents. When I think of the school, I think of the legacy my parents created, and to which I am heir.
My mom and dad modeled what it looks like to live with emboldened faith in many different spheres of life. I had a front-row seat to my mom’s day-to-day reliance on the Lord until she was called home a few years ago. Dad and I still work closely on OneHope initiatives, continuing to strategize how to innovate Scripture engagement programs for the next generation.
When I was a young boy and our family was living in the Middle East, my dad helped grow the local church through Bible correspondence courses — a groundbreaking initiative at the time, eventually leading to the development of a theological school.
My parents didn’t always see the next five steps ahead of them, but they were careful to take the next step in reliance on the Lord. They had a history of trying and accomplishing great things for God — a legacy of faith that still guides, inspires, and models vision for us today.
My dad has often said that as Christians, we plant and water, but it’s God who brings the growth. We can be good stewards of what we are given, like sharing Scripture engagement programs with children and youth, but ultimately growth or transformation happens in God’s timing.
Students who take classes in the Bob and Hazel Hoskins School of Mission (including OneHope teams from around the world meeting virtually) are learning a combination of ministry and marketplace skills through their courses, being encouraged to walk in faith no matter their job title. I’m glad Mom and Dad will be an inspiration to students for years to come, as they are to me.
NATION BY NATION
God’s Word. Every Child.
A tiny prayer warrior
When Ximena was born prematurely, the doctors didn’t give her parents much hope that she would survive…
But her praying aunt and grandmother didn’t give up on her. They believed God would intervene, and today Ximena is 5 years old. She’s small for her age, and she still struggles with some physical issues — but she doesn’t let any of this hold her back.
Her favorite day of the week is Saturday, when her church in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, has a special meeting for kids her age called The Little Ants of the Kingdom Bible Club. This fits Ximena particularly well because although she is small, she is mighty in faith!
Her Bible club is studying through the Bible App for Kids together, each week conquering another chapter in the app, and Ximena loves it. The Bible stories, the interactive games, and memory verses, she’s happy with all of it, and she’s learning so much about Jesus.
One of her superpowers is that she loves to pray for other kids. Of course she prays for her family and fellow Little Ants club members, but she’s always happy to pray for other children all around the world. After all, her aunt and grandmother tell her she is alive because people prayed for her … now she wants to pray for others.
In addition to studying God’s Word in the Bible App for Kids and praying, Ximena also likes to play the tambourine and sing praise and worship songs. She’s a powerhouse for Jesus despite her size.
Thanks for sending God’s Word to help build Ximena up in the faith. Her future in Jesus is bright!