As the young daughter of a pastor in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Miriam (not her real name) has known God’s word since she could first speak. Yet her faith in God was mostly defined by fear.
“Miriam had always been taught to strictly obey the word of God, otherwise she would lose her salvation,” says Marc Nabie, Back to God Ministries International’s French ministry coordinator.
Miriam’s fear-based faith brought on a flood of guilt when she became sexually active. At her lowest point, these feelings caused her to consider taking her own life.
“Not only did she feel guilty, but she thought she lost her salvation forever,” said Nabie.
As both a pastor and a father to three children close to Miriam’s age, Nabie has long wanted to reach out to young people as they encounter daily struggles. Recently, he has been able to realize this goal with new youth-centered audio and video programs.
In developing the programs, Nabie sought help from those who knew the struggles firsthand. Nabie gathered 15 youth volunteers—including his own son—and spent four days discussing and reflecting on topics that they have seen their own friends encounter. From these discussions on topics ranging from addiction to occultism, they wrote scripts to share with their peers over-the-air.
“The young people were so pleased to be involved in such an initiative,” said Nabie. “Some played the journalist and the others gave answers.”
As for Miriam, she discovered God’s message of grace through a different BTGMI French radio program hosted by Nabie himself.
“I was preaching on the theme ‘broken but not destroyed,’ based on the story of the fall of Adam and Eve,” recalls Nabie. “Miriam understood for the first time that God is a God of grace and that he was ready to give her another chance.”
Miriam lived not far from the broadcast center, so upon hearing this message she visited BTGMI’s French ministry team to learn more about forgiveness.
“She left joyously with the assurance of forgiveness. Since then, Miriam has been joyful in her faith and often calls us with updates,” Nabie added.
So far, the young volunteers have recorded 10 episodes that will air over the radio and as social media videos. As other young people in French-speaking West Africa struggle, pray that these newly-recorded youth messages will reach people like Miriam who experience their own trials.