Be his hands

I met Bartimeo in West Africa in 2012 while visiting a PAAM missionary family that had gone to assist in the translation of the Bible. He lived beside this family who constantly talked to him about Jesus. Unfortunately, Bartimeo at that time was spiritually closed to the gospel.

One day, in search of a better life, he left his wife and son and went to Europe. Passing through the desert en route, he and his traveling companions were abducted, robbed, extorted, and injured by the terrorists who professed to be from his own religion.

Arriving in North Africa he attempted to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, but the traffickers abandoned him at sea without food or water. After being victimized by pirates and being adrift for days, they returned to dry land.

Many other things happened, and Bartimeo ended up in jail in Morocco. Without any money, identity papers, or anyone who would help him, he decided to call the missionary family that had talked to him so often about Jesus. They helped him get out of jail and begin his return trip home.

Overcome by shame, he decided to settle 

in a neighboring country where the missionary family was now living. 

Bartimeo recounted to the family how he had met an Asian man on the road back home. This young man helped him communicate with the missionary family, gave him clothing, food, and prayed for him. Lastly, he gave him “The Traveler’s Book”, that is, a New Testament in French. In the midst of all his tragedies, Bartimeo began to read it, and shortly thereafter he began to have many questions.

Bartimeo and the missionary family have developed a special friendship. They welcomed him and helped him to find a place to live and to work. His wife and his son had come to live with him, and they have decided firmly to follow Jesus. Now both families meet every week to worship God and to study the Bible. Bartimeo is helping with the translation of the Bible into his ethnic language and is additionally the voice that God has provided to record audio portions of the Bible that have been translated into his language, so that tens of thousands of people in his ethnic group may hear that the best path to a better life is not a place, but a person: Jesus Christ!


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