Learn about the work of the NALC’s newest global worker, Pastor Martha Shanka. Pastor Shanka is currently serving in Dubai.
My name is Martha Shanka and I am a born again Christian. When I was 15 years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Even though my family members are Christians, I didn’t confess by my own faith, rather I just went along to church with them. One day my Sunday school teacher taught us that we should know Jesus Christ personally. At that moment some of us accepted Him as our personal Savior.
As a teenager, I started to serve in Sunday school choir. My parents played an important part in my spiritual life. As a family, we had daily Bible study and prayer each night. My dad provided a lesson and my mom prayed for each of us.
Since I was 15, I have continued to walk a true Christian journey with Jesus. Over time, God has taught and equipped me in various ways. The leaders of my church encouraged me to join a Bible college. I prayed about this and I realized that God has called me and has given me spiritual gifts to teach and serve Him and His people.
God has given me the gifts of teaching, preaching, singing and playing guitar. After I completed my college education (Bachelor of Arts), I came back to my church and started to teach in the Bible school, in the church, at seminars and conferences. All glory be to God.
In 2010, God opened a door. I received an invitation from the Ethiopian church in Cairo, Egypt to go and serve them by teaching the Word of God. I decided to accept their invitation and served them for one month. After a month, the church leaders asked me to stay with them. I spent a month away and then returned to Egypt to continue my ministry there.
After six months of ministry in Egypt, I was ordained as a pastor and God gave me His favor and wisdom to serve His flocks. During my time in Egypt, God gave me many victories in the Ethiopian and Egyptian communities. God opened a door for evangelism and provided many opportunities to train and equip leaders and pastors. In Egyptian culture (influenced by Islam) it is forbidden for women to teach men. In my case, God granted me a big favor and the Egyptians allowed me to teach the men and provide training for pastors from all over Egypt. In general, it is not easy to preach the Gospel in Muslim countries. But, the power of God is beyond their law. God has helped me to share the Good News in various ways and using various strategies.
The first opportunity He gave me was opening the door to serve the Egyptian Christians. (By the way, there are many Christians in Egypt.) I knew an Egyptian pastor who was the coordinator of 32 churches all over Egypt. Most of the time when God works, He uses people and connects them with each other to accomplish His purpose. By the help of this Egyptian pastor, I met many Egyptians and gained access to train them. I focused on training locals because it is easier for them to spread the Gospel amongst their Muslim neighbors than for me to preach to them as a foreigner.
A second opportunity God gave me was allowing me to equip the Ethiopian women. Many Ethiopian women work in the homes of a local Muslim as a housemaid. As I mentioned above, in Middle Eastern countries it is forbidden by law to preach the Gospel. So, my main strategy is to equip these ladies who are working in their homes. I have gone to Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar, Lebanon, Bahrain and Dubai to teach and equip these ladies. I have many testimonies of how they have made an impact in their homes and lives. For example:
– Through prayer, they have been healed of their sicknesses.
– They have taught their children Scripture and some songs.
– Because of this, others have started to ask them about Jesus and are challenged and led to the truth.
Now, I am living in Dubai and have started to plant a church. We are now 30-35 in number and gather together weekly. We study the Word of God and I have given them different kinds of trainings regarding how to evangelize. God is expanding us as well as helping us to evangelize.
Pastor Martha Shanka is a NALC Global Worker. For additional information or to partner with Pastor Shanka, please visit: thenalc.org/martha-shanka