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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.  

 

Persevering in Prayer

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Gavril, a regional coordinator with our ministry partners in Bulgaria, recently shared how God is thawing the heart of his neighbor, Petar, a committed Communist and atheist.

Gavril often talked to Petar about Jesus and was giving him different Christian books to read. One day, Petar got really angry and told Gavril to stop giving him those books, or their good relationship as neighbors would be destroyed. Gavril didn’t want to make Petar angry, so he stopped talking about God with him but continued to pray for Petar.

Two years ago, Gavril decided to give Petar a Christmas present – a calendar with Bible verses for each month. Petar accepted the present with gratitude and didn’t say anything. A year ago, Petar asked if Gavril could give him another one of the calendars. This time, when Petar came to Gavril in November, he asked not only for a calendar but also for a Bible! He said he finally had decided to read it.

Please pray that the Word of God will touch Petar’s heart and that he will soon become part of Christ’s family.

Jesus is the Rest-Giver

At age 17, Nandar in Myanmar married her husband, who was a bus driver and much older than her. “At the age of 20, I was already a mother of two children, and life was good,” Nandar shares. Her husband was a Christian and treated her like a queen. But, he never told her about Jesus Christ.

“Being a Buddhist, I hated Jesus very much,” Nandar admits. She resented having to go to church and give tithes and offerings out of the family’s income. “To be honest, I grew tired of going to church and found it boring,” she says.

When Nandar turned 26, the good life she had enjoyed was turned upside down. Her husband died in an accident, and she was left with two kids. “So, I started to do tailoring work and sold food in the market. Money was so hard to come by. I worked really hard and made sure that I could find resources for my kids but experienced dark financial and emotional struggles, and yet I did not think of calling on Jesus for help. I wanted help, but I didn't know where to turn,” Nandar relates. She was so tired that she even considered committing suicide.

At the end of March 2015, a former high school classmate came to visit. She boldly told Nandar about the love of God, the power of Jesus Christ, and how He had died on the cross for our sins. She quoted Matthew 11:28: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." She stated, "Jesus is the only Rest-Giver. He knows your problems and cares for you. Try Him."

That’s when God's Word became alive to Nandar. She recalls, “Almost instantly, I was filled with a faith in Jesus that only God could have given. I had a sudden sense of knowing that God was going to help me come out of my poverty, help me with life's problems, and make everything much better in my life. Then, I broke into tears and started confessing all my previous sins and mistakes I had committed. I repented for all my sinful ways and asked Jesus Christ to be my personal Savior wholeheartedly.”

Nandar continues, “Things began to change inside me. Now, I feel excited to be going to church, and even my kids feel the same thing. Before, I didn't find the Bible valuable. But, as change kept happening inside me, I began to realize that everything I needed spiritually was in the Bible. After that, every morning and evening, many times in between, I would pray to Him, seeking deliverance. As one of us speaks to a friend, I used to tell Him every pain and trouble I had in my life, being honest about all my thoughts and feelings. As a result, I saw miracles after miracles back-to-back in my life. My Jesus handled everything of my life in His own style.”

Nandar saw her life changed from extreme poverty to blessed prosperity. Three months after she became a believer, the Lord provided the opportunity for Nandar to run the grocery store. “Now we don't have to worry for our daily bread,” she notes. While running the grocery at the night bazaar, Nandar met Ye Bo, a widowed Christian gentleman who is retired from the military and serves the government as a municipal officer. They now enjoy a new life as a family, giving praise to the Lord and actively participating in a church planted by Reach A Village ministry partners.

From Fear to Faith

Jovana grew up in a nominal Muslim family in Serbia. She was one of five children, but no one in her family lived according to their faith or respected it in any way.

One of the traditions that they followed was marrying their daughters at a very young age - when they turned 15. Jovana didn't want to get married so young, but living with her father, who was an alcoholic, seemed even worse. Jovana had many fears and trusted no one.

Then one day she met a church planter named Zora. Zora began spending time with Jovana and showed her love and acceptance. By doing so, she won Jovana’s heart and trust, and Jovana opened up to her, sharing everything she was feeling.

Zora was praying for Jovana regularly and invited her to the local church. There Jovana found even more friends who surrounded her with love and supported her in her decision to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Jovana’s fears finally disappeared.

Jovana even found the courage to tell her parents about her faith. She was amazed by their positive reaction. Later, she told her parents that she didn’t want to get married so young, and that she wanted to be baptized. Her parents not only accepted Jovana’s decision, they supported her. Praise God for the way He has worked in Jovana’s life!

Changed by God's Grace

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

Evelina, a 64-year-old from Moldova, tells about her upbringing and “old self”: “I was born in the Soviet Union and received my education during the Soviet time. I grew up in a simple working family. We never talked about God at home. I finished school and technical university. We were always taught to rely on self and our own work. I believed that I always would be able to solve my own problems. ... In life, I had some good events, but also many bad ones as well. Reliance on self didn’t always help by far.”

In 2012, Evelina was invited to visit an Evangelical church. She recalls, “Out of curiosity, I went. I had heard of believers, but I have never been in an Evangelical church. Immediately, I liked the atmosphere in this church. I liked how they related to each other and especially their general songs about Jesus.”

Evelina started attending church more frequently and was given a Bible as a gift. She shares, “I started to read the Bible and listen to the preacher more carefully. At one point, I read in the Bible, and heard also the pastor say it, that God forgives all sins we have committed. I was encouraged by this and decided not to wait. I accepted Christ and confessed this in front of the church. ... I was also baptized.”

Evelina continued reading the Bible and started using the Bible study materials given to her by a Reach A Village ministry partner. She notes, “My life is continuously changing every day. ... People around me tell me that I have changed and that I am no longer the person I used to be. This always gives me a new opportunity to tell them about Christ, who is changing people no matter how old they are!”

In addition, Evelina is rejoicing that, after seeing the changes in her life, her oldest son started to attend services and read the Bible as well. Now he is preparing for baptism!

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