Over the past twenty-five years we can look at the history and emigration between France and Algeria. The existing presence of five to six million North Africans in France began with the recruiting of manual labour in the colonial period.
As for long-term mission workers in Algeria, they were soon obliged to follow.
Key people in God’s strategy were the Algerian MBBs (Muslim Background Believers) who had come to faith and been discipled in Algeria.
They too arrived in France but that did not mean their immediate integration into existing French churches.
While the missionary teams continued their regular ministries with book tables in markets, children’s clubs, door-to-door visitation and hospitality, the Lord was preparing something new.
As the mission teams came across isolated MBBs, they found that they often believed that they were the only ones who had come to Christ from Islam. And so it was that Algerians, Moroccans, and Arabs, who traditionally hold one another at arm’s length – found they had brothers and sisters in Christ – strong, lasting bonds formed. As they met together the name ‘Oasis’ caught on.
As Oasis groups were starting to meet a particular need, it would have been hard to foresee their potential for evangelism. Oasis began to bring Muslim awareness and opportunities for evangelism to local French churches.
God began to use the person’s movement from south to north to build His Kingdom among Muslims in France, however, the tide of blessing began to flow in both directions. Algerian Christians began pouring their lives back into their own country. Many began using the media that was available, especially television.
Ties between Algeria and France are becoming stronger as Christ’s church of MBBs grows on both sides of the Mediterranean with geographical boundaries becoming insignificant.