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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.  

 

Disciples Making Disciples

Jesus Christ’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations” is one that is familiar to His followers. The Great Commission is a driving force for our church planters across the globe.

But David had not been trained as a church planter or Bible study leader. In fact, this young man from Bulgaria was just in the process of discipleship himself, going through Bible studies at his church. However, David did not let that stop him from obeying the Great Commission’s call.

David’s discipleship studies at the church were interrupted when he received a temporary job opportunity in Spain. He wanted to continue to know God more, so he packed the series of study booklets and Scripture materials to take along, intending to study by himself.

When he arrived in Spain, though, David found that he desperately wanted others to know the life-changing truth of God’s Word. So, he made photocopies of all of the materials and began studying the Bible with non-believers around him! A friend from David’s home church in Bulgaria hopes to come to Spain to help pastor and nurture the group, facilitating further discipleship.

As new believers soak up the truths of God’s Word and learn how to be Christ-like, to serve, to forgive, and to live daily in the presence of their Savior, more disciples are made and the Gospel continues to spread to the ends of the earth.

David’s story is a good reminder that we are all in the process of discipleship, working to know God more and align ourselves with His plan. Every day provides new opportunities to share the Gospel. We never know exactly what God has in store for us, but we must always be ready for the moment He tells us to move.

Bringing the Light

“Small things can make a difference,” says Mark, one of our church planters in Serbia. In fact, it is often when seemingly small needs are met that God opens the door for lives to be renewed through Him.

As the winter season set in, Mark’s small church in a poor area decided to host an event for the local children. Donated winter clothing was gifted to many kids in the hope that they would be provided for during the frigid weather.

The event was a chance for the church to socialize with the community and draw families into a building they might otherwise avoid. Mark was able to connect with several families. He began to make home visits, hoping to build relationships and bring families into the fellowship.

Mark quickly realized that many of these families were living in dire conditions. Almost all of the people he encountered were without electricity, living by candlelight, often in sub-zero temperatures. Mark was extremely concerned about the circumstances of these new friends and decided to do something about it. With the help of other churches, he was able to provide basic necessities like light bulbs, batteries and other winter provisions.

“By doing this small thing, I found open doors,” he tells. Not only has he been able to meet material needs, but God has opened the door for spiritual progress in the lives of many. Mark now has the opportunity to regularly visit homes and share Christ with entire families. Already, many of these families have expressed a desire to be part of, and even host, home groups.

Mark continues to be in awe of how God works. He notes, “Time and time again, we see that small things will make a difference in furthering the Kingdom of God.”

A New Direction

“Before I came to Christ, my life was okay on the surface. It seemed like I needed nothing. But deep down I knew my life was not what I wanted it to be,” Pastor Lak Soeuy in Cambodia remarks.

He came from a family that practiced Buddhism. “I tried to follow Buddha’s teaching and do good,” he says. “But what I tried to do in Buddhism still did not change my life.” Things got even worse when he began practicing witchcraft and sorcery.

Pastor Lak lost grandparents during Pol Pot’s reign of terror, executions and starvation. His family was able to escape to a United Nations refugee camp in Thailand, where he first heard about Jesus Christ. But he did not understand. As Cambodia prepared for its first elections in 1992, Pastor Lak’s family returned, and he received a Christian booklet from someone. The words touched his heart as he read, but he still didn’t understand.

A few years later, a Cambodian friend came to visit and explained how Jesus Christ died to redeem us from the power of sin. “So I prayed to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior,” Pastor Lak tells. “My life has totally changed since I made that decision. I feel I have a purpose and direction in my life now.”

God called him to the ministry of preaching the Gospel, and many people have received the Lord as their Savior through his ministry. After attending seminary, Pastor Lak was sent out to start a new church in Takeo Province. Now, this church body is self-sustaining, and they look after poor widows, children and families as well.

In addition to his pastoral duties, he serves as coordinator for our partner ministries throughout Takeo Province, which is the equivalent of a state in the U.S. This involves working with local churches to train individuals how to start new churches and lead Bible studies to disciple believers. Pastor Lak also handles the logistics of providing the Scriptures and Bible study materials needed for these ministries.

Pastor Lak’s decision to follow the Lord not only changed the direction of his life, but changed the lives of so many others as well! God is using him mightily to make a broad and lasting impact in Cambodia.

Saved by Grace

Until the age of 53, Zachery thought he believed in God. “I lit candles for health and peace, I went to church regularly, and I tried as hard as I could to do good things,” he explains. But, Zachery was never fully satisfied with what he had done. He never felt good enough.

A faith based solely on deeds left Zachery searching. He started praying only when he really needed something. He read books on philosophy and self-help in an attempt to make his life more meaningful. “I was looking for some kind of rulebook that would help me live my life, but I did not succeed,” he acknowledges.

The more good deeds Zachery stacked up, the more inadequate he felt. And, the more he did, the less it came from his heart. From outward appearances, he had it all together, but in his heart Zachery felt lost.

During a trip to visit his sister-in-law, Zachery and his wife hesitantly attended an evangelical church. “There, for the first time in my life, I heard about God’s Word,” Zachery tells. He found it difficult to accept that God, more than anything, wanted his heart not just his deeds.

But, Zachery and his wife did begin attending an evangelical church and even became part of a Bible study. The more immersed he became in the Bible, the more Zachery understood that all people have a sinful nature, but through Christ, we are forgiven and redeemed.

Instead of a rulebook, Zachery found a personal relationship with Jesus, and it has made all the difference.

“And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” Romans 11:6

Zachery says, “Today, I am grateful for God’s love, mercy and blessings, which I don’t deserve. I can now surrender my worries and feel His joy because of His presence in my life.”

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