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Stories

Stories of Transformation through Christ!

More than one million villages still have not heard the Gospel. You can help us reach as many as possible. People, just like these, are waiting to be transformed by Christ.

Every village that is reached results in amazing stories of transformation through the power of Jesus Christ. These are real stories of real people.  

 

Finding a Diamond

Mykolas in Lithuania had in his mind from a young age some goals for his life. He wanted to look good and make a lot of money. In order to achieve those goals, he became active in a lot of sports starting at age 14 and began earning money at age 17.

Mykolas was always thinking that if he had more money, he would be happier. At age 39, he had reached the peak of his goals – he was pleased with his appearance and had “earned” a million. Yet, he was not happy in the life he thought he wanted. He didn’t know how to love others – his mother, his wife and daughter. He was even destroying himself physically.

By 2012, the life Mykolas had chosen for himself landed him in prison. He realized he had wasted the most beautiful years of his life in vanity. In 2013, he started to search for God. Amid all of the evil, lies, anger, drugs and pornography of prison life, Mykolas says that he found a diamond in fellow prisoner Petras. Mykolas discovered that Petras believed in God, and that was what made him happier than others.

Mykolas took his first steps toward God by having fellowship with Petras. Next, he connected with Reach A Village partners who minister at the prison. “I talked to pastors, started to attend their activities,” he shares. “In the beginning, I didn’t feel anything. I just was listening, and, little by little, trying to start to pray.”

One day, Pastor Andrius suggested that Petras and Mykolas get together daily to read the Bible and pray. For the past two years, they have started every day at the prison chapel doing just that! Through their Bible studies together and studies led by Pastor Andrius, Mykolas has learned to be patient, peaceful, and friendly, and to take care of his family and himself.

“I dedicated myself to the Lord, who lived as a man on the Earth. He became the strength of my life, the source of peace, wisdom and love,” Mykolas submits. “And all of it came not through the beauty of body or riches, but through God’s Spirit.”

 

 

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The Lord my Healer

Myint Nyan in Myanmar was brought up in a Buddhist family and taught to practice the religious teachings from childhood. At the same time, he saw how God did miracles for his neighbors, who were Christians. One day, this Christian family ran out of food. They prayed all morning. In the afternoon, as the mother walked to church, she found some money along the road and was able to buy rice and curry. The family saw this as the Lord’s answer to their prayers, but, from his Buddhist perspective, Myint Nyan believed that it was the result of good Karma from good deeds.

When he turned 17, Myint Nyan entered the monastery and was ordained as a novice monk. He stayed there for three years, obeying the rules, watching, and studying many religious books. "But all this labor produced no benefit to my soul," Myint Nyan shares. He continued to feel the heavy burden of his sins and could not find any satisfaction. Finally, Myint Nyan left the monastery and got married.

"I had Christian friends who were helpful and cared for us," Myint Nyan tells. "I attended their small groups and studied the Word of God. But I said in my mind, 'I am a Burmese; I must be a Buddhist forever.'" The Lord spoke to Myint Nyan through His Word and showed His love and goodness in many ways. "Knowingly, I resisted His love and chose to live a worldly life, drinking alcohol and gambling every day," Myint Nyan admits.

But finally God’s unconditional love broke through. Last October, Myint Nyan started noticing a health issue that persisted for the next three months. "I didn't go to a doctor for a check-up, lest he might discover that I have an incurable disease," Myint Nyan confesses. One day, he met with Lwin Zaw, the small group leader, and talked about his health concern. Lwin Zaw told him that God is alive, real, and can heal today. He quoted Psalm 103:3, "who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases," and 1Peter 2:24, "'He himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed.'"

"That moment, I decided to trust Jesus alone," Myint Nyan says. He asked Lwin Zaw to pray for him. Lwin Zaw laid his hands on Myint Nyan and prayed for healing. "In the evening, I read the Bible and prayed, started confessing all my previous sins and mistakes I had committed. I cried for hours that night and repented for all my sinful ways up until that time," Myint Nyan recalls. The next day, he noticed immediately that his condition was gone. He realized that the Lord had miraculously healed him.

Shortly afterward, Myint Nyan was baptized. "Today the Bible is my food and I cannot live without it," he states. "I saw miracles after miracles, back-to-back in my life. My Jesus handled everything in my life in His own style."

Loved and Accepted

With the summer months in full swing, church planters are busy orchestrating events for their local communities. Summer Bible camps provide a welcomed relief to teenagers in Serbia. Nicole’s story demonstrates that just a few days of studying the Word and learning about God can transform a life.

Like most of the teenagers attending the summer Bible camp, Nicole came from a difficult life. Her home life was stressful, and she felt tremendous pressure to fit in with her peers. Nicole often made poor choices in the hopes of fitting in with her friends. Her poor choices only served to make her feel increasingly empty and alone.

By the time Nicole arrived at the summer Bible camp, she had experienced years of loneliness and rejection. She was deeply discouraged and had tried many times to physically hurt herself. At one low point, she had even attempted suicide. But at the Bible camp, Nicole found that she was accepted by the rest of the teenagers attending. She connected with others who also struggled to make good choices amid pressure from worldly influences.

The campers regularly spent time in the Word and discussed the truths they learned. Nicole began to not only feel the love and acceptance of her peers, but also the divine, heart- changing love of her Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s acceptance gave Nicole hope. She realized she was part of a bigger family – God’s family. The love she felt from this family of believers began to transform her heart and mind. During camp, Nicole accepted Jesus as her Savior.

Becoming part of God’s family has given Nicole a new perspective. Today, she makes her choices based on what God has called her to do, not according to what the world says. She has discovered abundant love and acceptance in knowing and walking with God.

By the grace of our Lord and Savior, Nicole is no longer lonely.

Jesus Is My Explanation

Although Myat May attended church regularly as a child, she explains, “As I got older, I was experiencing a lot of trouble and I didn't feel peace at all.” She hung around with Buddhist friends and would curse and yell at others. “I loved the world more than Jesus,” Myat May says.

In 2006, Myat May met and married Kaung Myo. “He made me very happy, and life was good,” she shares. Unexpectedly, Kaung Myo was diagnosed with leukemia. He was told that the cancer was in its final stages and he had only two more weeks to live. “Once again, my world tossed upside down,” Myat May relates. “I was crushed, because I feared for his death and wanted to be able to love him for my entire life.”

Kaung Myo and Myat May passed each day hopelessly at the Yangon General Hospital cancer ward. One day, a Christian woman came to visit and talked to them about Jesus the healer. She prayed for healing and told them, “He is still able and, also, He is our Savior.” Kaung Myo didn't feel anything different at the time. After the woman left, Myat May immediately went into the bathroom, knelt down, and cried out to God. She promised to be true to Him and serve Him the rest of her life if He would restore her husband's health.

“After three days, my husband got up early in the morning, looked active and ready to meet his doctor,” Myat May recalls. “We went to see his doctor, and he had the strangest look on his face. He paused a moment and said the cancer was completely gone. He added that there was no scientific explanation as to why this had happened. I smiled back and said, ‘No, Jesus is my explanation.’”

That day, Myat May gave her heart to God, and she was baptized. Since Jesus saved her, Myat May notes, “I have found true enjoyment and joy in speaking what is pure, true, holy, lovely, and edifies and helps others.”

Myat May began studying the Bible twice a week with a group of eight women, five of whom were not Christians. “I couldn't have been happier when three of them were saved two months after our group started studying together. I am proud to say that they want to serve Jesus and live for Him,” Myat May comments. “I'm so incredibly blessed with the privilege of serving the Lord.”

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