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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.  

 

A Spiritual Progression

Isabelle is a teenager from Macedonia. Because her parents are evangelical Christians, she has been part of her local church for as long as she can remember.

For most of her life, Isabelle believed that good people go to church. However, as she entered her teenage years, she began to wonder about what being a “good” person really meant. Her peers who did not attend church appeared to be good people, as did her fellow church friends. Was it possible that people could be good without going to church?

Questions continued to nag at her mind, and she was eager to get real answers. Isabelle dove into the Word of God and, with the help of her youth leaders and the Christian literature they provided, she received a soul-changing answer.

Isabelle shares, “After some time, I understood that every person, even me, regardless of the fact that I am good, needs forgiveness for their sins, repentance and personal fellowship with God, Jesus Christ.”

For the first time, Isabelle felt that her soul had worth. “I understood that to progress spiritually and to overcome the temptations in my life, I needed the Church, my brothers and sisters, through whom I was encouraged and taught,” she explains. It was no longer a question of being a good person alone. Isabelle learned that salvation comes through repentance, forgiveness and a life of fellowship with the Lord.

Today, Isabelle has fully devoted her life to Jesus. “My life has real meaning, and my future rests in an eternity with my Savior!” she says.

One Small Prayer

Betty is 56 years old and lives in Bulgaria. She attended mosque regularly for her entire life. Though having weathered many hardships in life, Betty felt that her prayers were never answered – no matter how often she went to mosque to pray.

For several years, Betty’s neighbor had been inviting her to join Bible study. And, for several years, Betty brushed off the idea of attending as crazy. She went to mosque, and that was that. Yet, lately, Betty’s heart was aching for peace. Her curiosity was growing. Was it possible that there was a God who could truly answer her prayers?

The next time her neighbor extended an invitation to Bible study, Betty accepted. On her way to the group, Betty had a terrible headache. She wanted to pray, but a familiar skepticism arose in her mind. Why pray over something as silly as a headache? Why pray to a God she was not even sure existed or would have the power to answer her prayers?

But, Betty did pray. “Lord, if you are here, please make this headache go away,” she asked. Immediately, the headache disappeared! Betty was astounded. Not only had the headache vanished the moment she prayed, but the miraculous healing lasted, and the headache did not return.

Betty still marvels at the answer she received from one small prayer. Her curiosity about Jesus is blossoming into a deep desire to know the God who seems to know her and care about her. She has begun to attend the Bible study regularly and has accepted Jesus as her Savior.

Betty prays constantly and waits patiently, full of peace, to see what her Lord and Savior has in store for her on this new and marvelous path.

A Greater Gift

At the age of 10, Adrijana in Macedonia has already learned the value of willingly sacrificing temporary things in order to gain a much greater, lasting gift.

Adrijana has been attending Bible study classes at a Christian club for a month. “I learned about them from a friend of mine who shared with me of the excitement and encouragement she is receiving from visiting the club. She shares with me of the peace, forgiveness, calmness she received there as they study the Bible,” Adrijana comments.

Since Adrijana lives in a neighboring village, it was a challenge for her to get to the club. “But, because my friend insisted and encouraged me constantly to come with the words, ‘You just come and the Lord will provide for extra money you need to cover transportation,’ I decided to go, and instead of buying a sandwich, I am saving for travel,” she says.

Adrijana was amazed at what she saw when she arrived. “There, people were so happy. They played games, treated each other with respect, but when the time came for Bible reading and study, the passion and zeal I saw in their hearts melted my heart. A sweet feeling of joy came into my entire body, and I really admit that this Jesus they are talking about, He is real,” Adrijana acknowledges.

She continues, “Since then I am attending, and I like these classes a lot. Even though I live in the village, it is not a problem for me to ride the bus and get to the classes. I want to know more about God and what He does for us.”

At the time when Adrijana began participating in the Bible study, her mother had a surgery. “During that time, I was constantly praying to God so that my mother would come home again, and she did. I’m very thankful to God for listening to my prayer,” she shares.

“It is really worth it to make a little sacrifice and to receive a great gift,” Adrijana submits. “Thanks to the Lord for His mercy, and thanks to my friend who witnessed to me and supported me constantly to make this step of faith and come to the club.”

Strength of My Heart

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

Betsy’s heart was hardened toward God. Born in Poland to a Catholic family, she was raised with a healthy respect for both God and religion. But, her husband’s alcohol abuse, the stress of raising five children, and having two sons leave the family to become Jehovah’s Witnesses had made her angry at God.

“My image of God was that of someone who would divide and take away,” she comments. Betsy resented God and believed He was responsible for orchestrating the many heartaches of what she saw as a wasted life.

“After 20 years in the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, my oldest son left its ranks," Betsy tells. "I began to notice changes in his life. ... He not only said he was happy, but I saw that it was true. My son visited me and talked to me about God, but in a completely different way than before, when he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He often said that God was good.”

This was at odds with Betsy’s view of God. Yet, the more she talked with her son, the more her heart began to soften to the idea of a God of love, a God who answers prayers.

Not long after Betsy’s reunion with her son, she faced her most impossible challenge yet – cancer.

Lying in her hospital bed, Betsy prayed, “God, if You are there, please show me how to believe in You, because I have little life left.” Instantly, a weight was lifted and peace was restored. The cancer symptoms got better, then worse again, and then extremely bad. Betsy was bedridden, but she was not inactive.

Betsy read everything she could get her hands on. First, she read Christian pamphlets, then the book of John – a gift from her son. She received a New Testament and, later, a full Bible. When her eyes began to fail, her son would read to her.

When the pain of breaking bones and illness took over, Betsy lay in a hospice bed desperate to know God more and make Him known. Clinging to life and to God, Betsy prayed all day long for sick friends, for family members who didn’t know God, and for the opportunity to be baptized.

Almost a year later, Betsy baffled doctors with a recovery. She has been baptized and helped to lead two of her other children to Christ. She is no longer angry, because now God is the strength of her heart.

“Today, I'm 70 years old,” Betsy shares. “Although there have been many unpleasant events and moments in my life, I now actually see how the good Lord has led me through them ... And more importantly, how he taught me so much, first about myself, and then about Himself. For that I am, and I always will be, eternally grateful to my Father.”

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