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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.  

 

Written On My Heart

“There is no other comfort than to be a child of God,” writes our Romanian brother Derek. Yet, comfort is not the word many would pick to describe Derek’s life. Through it all, though, Derek admits that he always felt a voice telling him there was another way to live – a better way.

Derek’s life began with illness. On several occasions he should have died.

Raised without Christian education, Derek devoted his life to respecting work and possessions. He lived for himself and for the worldly things he could attain. This lifestyle ultimately resulted in the destruction of his first marriage, an event that sent him into a deep depression.

His second marriage was even worse. “My wife was so frivolous and immoral that she had no problem living in sin in front of her children and me,” he tells. She took all of Derek’s things and moved to Spain. He followed her there, and in an explosive fight, he unintentionally killed her.

Thinking he would surely rot in prison for the rest of his life, Derek contemplated suicide. But, even then, a voice spoke in his heart telling him there was another path his life might take.

Miraculous things happened while he was in prison. First, Derek met other Romanians in prison, which was a blessing since he could not speak Spanish. God led him to a prisoner with a Bible. Derek traded his electric fan and five phone cards for the Bible and began to read it every day.

All other prisoners lived two people to a cell, but Derek found himself alone for over a year. He spent that time alone with God reading the Bible. “That was a blessed time when I was able to talk to God and hear Him speak to me through His Word. I asked for His guidance step by step, and He in His faithfulness to me answered my prayers with wonders,” says Derek.

All of the guilt and shame that had accumulated in Derek’s heart began to ease as his relationship with God deepened. And the still small voice of God became the Great I AM revealing to Derek that the laws of God had always been written on his heart.

Other men convicted of murder had been sentenced to life in prison, but God had different plans for Derek. His sentence got reduced. Later, he was moved to a prison in Romania, where his sentence was reduced again. After only five years, Derek was released!

“The Lord helped me to start over from scratch,” he shares. Derek was able to get a job, build a new home and start life anew.

“I am not much of a speaker, but my heart is full of desire to share my experience with God with other prisoners,” he submits. Today, he regularly visits several prisons to tell other inmates how great God is and how He works wonders in the lives of those who put their trust in Him.

A New Attitude

“Before I believed in Jesus Christ, I did a lot of bad things in my life,” shares Makara, a 34-year-old from Kampot province in Cambodia. Makara admits that she had issues with a bad temper, gossiping, jealousy and quarreling with others. She did not have a heart of love toward others. Makara says she was a selfish woman who didn’t care about anyone but herself. And she didn’t trust anyone but herself. Makara lived a sad, unhappy life with no hope.

When Makara got sick, she always sought help from the magician, but she got nothing in return. She tried preparing some food, doing exactly what the priest told her to do for healing, but still there was no progress. Her health remained the same.

One day, a church planter came to the village and shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with Makara. She heard what he taught her, but she didn’t accept Jesus yet because she didn’t understand, and she was not interested.

Several months later, the church planter came back and met with Makara again. He went through a couple of Scripture-based Bible study booklets with her. Makara began to notice that Christians are different from non-Christians – they have a good attitude and share love with others.

Eventually, when she understood the Gospel message clearly, Makara accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord. Since then, she testifies: “I am free from sins because now I give my life to God to lead me. My whole life is changed. I began to have a good attitude towards my family and society.” Makara adds that she has stopped doing the bad things she used to do, and now she also has love for others.

Makara thanks God for His grace in forgetting her sins and letting her know Him. Now, she walks joyfully with the God who came to save her!

Finding Courage to Witness

Several years ago, Emin moved his family to a remote Armenian village bordering Azerbaijan in order to plant a church there. Soon, their plan was coming together, and the home group they started was gradually becoming a church. But life in the villages along the border was very difficult due to strained relations between the two countries. Many times shots from the border skirmishes would stray into the villages.

Emin decided to join the army and serve on the border to protect his family and others. While he was away, his wife Ankine continued the work with the church they had started and made sure that their son Ari attended Sunday school.

Ari is now 13 years old. Although he grew up in an evangelical family, until recently, there was no change in Ari’s heart, and he wasn’t willing to testify that he believed in God and attended church. The fact that he has issues with his vision and wears eyeglasses added to Ari’s stress, as he was always worried about his friends mocking him. Ankine often spoke with him about this, but he still wasn’t ready to talk about God.

Recently, when Emin came home from the army for a visit and found out about Ari’s hesitancy to talk about God, he had a conversation with his son. Emin encouraged Ari to trust God and follow His Word. He shared 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Ari was so encouraged by these words that he told Emin he could go to the border and serve alongside his father. Emin responded that it would be better if Ari continued praying for him instead and taking care of his mother and sister at home.

During a Christmas event, Ari went up on the stage in front of a large audience and asked everyone to pray for his father, saying that, after all, protection from God is the only protection for which we should pray and hope. He asked everyone to pray for Jesus to protect his father. Everyone was impressed by Ari’s courage and his ability to speak in front of such a big audience.

Since then, Ari has been testifying about God to everyone and asking his friends to pray for their families and, especially, fathers and brothers serving in the army. They are all praying! We ask that you too would pray for peace and continued growth in God for the country of Armenia.

Solace from God's Word

Tereza in Bulgaria became part of a new Bible study group started in her village by Reach A Village ministry partners. When she completed the Bible study materials, she received her own Bible! But, Tereza found that every time she wanted to read her Bible, something would happen. Her phone would ring, someone would come to visit her, or she was too tired and easily distracted. It really bothered Tereza that she couldn’t read her Bible, but she didn’t know what to do.

At that time, Tereza’s husband Lazar, who was not a believer, got sick. He would wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to breathe. Lazar was scared, so he would wake Tereza up and ask her to talk with him. After the first two nights, Tereza ran out of things to talk about with him. Then, she got an idea. She would read the Bible to him!

For about a year, Tereza read the Bible to her husband night after night, until he fell asleep. They both liked reading it so much that they even started reading the Bible during the day too! Tereza was happy because finally she was reading her Bible, and her faith began to grow.

Lazar began feeling better, and one day, as they were reading the Bible, he fell to his knees and asked Jesus for forgiveness and salvation. After accepting Jesus as his Savior, Lazar joined the Bible study group as well. Not only did God deliver Lazar from his sins, He also healed him from his sickness!

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