Palmetto Collective Sharing the Gospel in North Africa
During her time with Palmetto Collective, *Elliot-Joy Little heard a pivotal question: “Where is the most strategic place to be for Jesus after graduation?”
Little did she know that this question would lead her to North Africa just one day after graduating. Filled with excitement and anticipation, Elliot-Joy embarked on her first-ever trip outside the United States, ready to embrace the mission ahead.
Palmetto Collective (PC) is a transformative program that provides opportunities for young Christians to learn from missionaries, church planters, and pastors. “Growing up, I was not presented with many opportunities to serve cross culturally and I saw PC as an answered prayer to my desire to go,” Elliot-Joy said. This trip not only allowed her to explore a new country but also provided an opportunity to build relationships, share the Gospel, and witness extraordinary testimonies.
Building Relationships and Sharing the Gospel
Because of the significant life milestone of graduating, Elliot-Joy found she had little time to be nervous leading up to the trip. The travel journey was smooth, and soon they were settled in a hotel, ready to fulfill their mission. The primary focus of the trip was to befriend young adults who were studying language courses, fostering cultural exchange and friendship.
The first full day in North Africa presented an opportunity for the PC team to engage in a cultural exchange event with both Americans and North Africans. From a rooftop overlooking the city, they connected with numerous men and women, exchanging contacts and planning future meetings. Throughout their stay, the team spent time with two specific girls, referred to as M and S, who were eager to share their city and practice their English. As they explored the local cuisine and various cultural sites, conversations about faith naturally emerged.
The team discovered the eagerness of many young adults to practice their English with Americans, providing a unique opening to share the Gospel. Engaging in discussions about topics such as the authority of scripture, the Trinity, and prayer, they experienced the beauty of dialogue between individuals who hold different beliefs. Amidst these conversations, the team was astonished by the openness of M and S to share their lives and teach them about their culture.
The next day, M asked if she could bring along her friend, *Mary. “I knew from the start that Mary carried herself differently than any of the woman I had met so far on the trip,” Elliot-Joy said. Throughout the day, as they explored the bustling market, the team found themselves walking alongside one girl each. Elliot-Joy had the privilege of walking with Mary and engaging in a conversation about Mary’s choice not to wear a hijab. This conversation became an opportunity to share the Gospel, explaining personal faith in Jesus and the significance of the Bible.
“Mary told me how dangerous it was for people in her country to believe that and how I could be in danger talking about Jesus like that,” Elliot-Joy said, “but I also told her that I am not ashamed of Jesus and I would love to talk about Him with her more if she was comfortable with it.” Surprisingly, Mary did not oppose or criticize their beliefs. Instead, she revealed her own encounter with Christ a decade ago.
Mary’s Testimony and Boldness
Mary recounted the story of how, ten years prior, she stumbled upon something about Jesus on television and began researching Him. Through dreams and a growing conviction, she surrendered her life to Jesus and sought fellowship with other Christians. However, her newfound faith had to remain hidden as her parents discovered her secret. For a decade, Mary had not spoken to anyone about her relationship with Jesus until the day she met the PC team.
The team was profoundly moved by Mary’s story, witnessing her boldness and bravery. Despite the risks and challenges she faced, Mary’s encounter with the PC team provided an opportunity to connect her with a Christian woman serving in North Africa. Since that day, Mary has been meeting regularly with this Christian woman, engaging in Bible study, seeking answers to her questions, and growing in her faith.
“I am still so shocked that God allowed me to see such a sweet moment of Mary’s testimony,” Elliot-Joy said. She expressed how thankful she was that God placed the desire on her heart to see people come to saving faith in Christ. “Stories like Mary’s are extraordinary and I’m thankful that the Palmetto Collective gave me the opportunity to meet her,” Elliot-Joy said.
*Names have been changed for security purposes.