Bishop Dickson is a pastor on the island of Zanzibar, which is part of the country of Tanzania. Many Christians live on Tanzania’s mainland. But more than 95 percent of the people on Zanzibar are Muslims.
After Bishop Dickson gave his life to Christ, he promised God that he would start a church on Zanzibar. At first, only a few people came to the church. Today 800 people worship in the congregation.
Muslims from outside of Zanzibar have joined with radical Muslims on the island to try to get rid of Christians. One Saturday night during a church prayer meeting, a mob of Muslims approached the church. Bishop Dickson helped the church members escape out a back door. But the pastor stayed in the church. “I had an opportunity to run away,” he said. “But you know, I love the church.”
About 300 Muslims arrived at the church with iron bars. The pastor was in his office by the church sanctuary. He heard the mob shatter the church windows. “Where’s the pastor?” they shouted. “Let’s get him!”
“I just sat down and I didn’t know what to do,” said Bishop Dickson. “But there was some peace and confidence deep in my heart. I knew God was in control.”
The mob stacked the church’s plastic chairs, speakers, and keyboards in a pile and set them on fire. They burned the pastor’s car. But they left without finding the pastor.
The next morning, church members showed up for church. They cried when they saw the damage. Bishop Dickson reminded them of the story of Job in the Bible, who suffered through many struggles.
“You know why this is happening?” the pastor asked the congregation. “I believe it is because God trusts us. He is faithful to us, and we will endure…and we will become victorious. Many good things will happen, so I don’t want people to cry. Let’s rejoice!”
Do you know the Bible story of Job that Bishop Dickson talked about? Read it in the Bible, or ask a Christian who knows it to tell you about it.