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Barata was not going to hear the gospel from people in his community. He belongs to an unreached people group of 15 million people in Southeast Asia. Less than 1% of those in his community follow Jesus.

But, God had a plan for Barata and led Oscar, an East-West missionary, to him to share the gospel. Barata had been a Muslim all of his life. Yet when he heard about the love and forgiveness of Jesus, he knew he had to give his life to this wonderful Savior.

Oscar began discipling Barata, but progress was slow at first. Although Barata had a new life in Christ, he was undergoing a sanctifying process. He would often show up late or not at all to meetings with Oscar. Oscar’s teammates told him to stop wasting his time on Barata, but Oscar remained patient.

Eventually, Barata became more serious about his faith. The man who once skipped meetings with his disciple maker was now unashamedly sharing the gospel and making disciples himself. Barata’s wife, siblings, and uncle all decided to follow Jesus. But this family’s newfound faith did not come without consequences in this Muslim community. Barata’s wife was kidnapped by her family, angry that she changed her religion. Two of Barata’s sisters died, and his uncle lost his job. It seemed like everything was falling apart.

Despite these hardships, Barata kept the faith and continued obediently sharing the gospel with his people group. Today, there are more than 200 baptized believers among Barata’s people group—in large part because of Barata’s faithfulness.

The cost of Barata following Jesus has continued to be high. In the past year, two of his disciples have been martyred, and he’s had to relocate multiple times for his safety. Still, Barata has remained joyful through the persecution. Everywhere he goes, he multiplies disciples and churches.

Names have been changed for security purposes.

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