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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.  

 

Triumph Over Tragedy

Death, poverty and tragedy ravaged Tatyana’s life. Her difficulties began when her husband passed away, leaving her a widow with four children at the age of 27. Family members came for his wake. While the adults were gone, the children stayed home with Tatyana’s brother. A fire broke out. Thankfully, no one was physically hurt, but their house was destroyed.

Grappling with the grief over her husband’s death as well as the loss of their home, Tatyana was completely devastated. She shares, “I felt like I was the worst of sinners and wanted to disappear from all these troubles. So, I lived my life with a bottle in my hand and tears in my eyes.”

A few years later, Tatyana married again and had another child. There was constant fighting and unrest in the marriage. Further trouble struck when heavy rains flooded their house, and Tatyana lost her home for a second time. The family found housing in a small apartment that had no heat. Since it was so cold, they resorted to stealing heating in order to keep themselves and their children warm.

One day, the light went out and Tatyana’s husband went to fix it. In the darkness, he touched the wires and was electrocuted. He screamed, fell, and died that day. Tatyana was left alone once again with five children and a broken heart, convinced that there was no God.

A friend gave Tatyana a Bible to read. When she reached the New Testament, she had tears in her eyes. Tatyana recalls, “I started to attend the services of an evangelical church. When the altar call was given at the end of one service, I felt embarrassed because of my tattered shoes to go forward, kneel and repent. When I came home, I regretted that I didn’t do it, yet the Holy Spirit kept working in my heart. For a few nights in a row, I couldn’t sleep. One night, I had a dream of two men in white standing in my room telling me something.”

Tatyana notes, “Since I couldn’t find any peace, I went to visit my father in his village. But God continued to look for me. It was there my life changed. Church planters from a neighboring village, where they have a church, came and visited me to preach of God’s grace.

“When I heard the Word of God from these men, I accepted the Lord and invited Him into my heart. And He illuminated my whole life with His light! Today, five years later, together with my five children, we still serve the Lord with inexpressible gratitude,” Tatyana rejoices.

Shining Light

Life for many Ukrainian believers has not been easy amid war and conflict. Many church planters found it difficult to carry out their work. In some areas, it was increasingly challenging for groups of Christians to meet together to worship and learn about Jesus Christ.

One church planter, Alexander, was forced to uproot himself and his family more than once to avoid harm. The family also hid their car in a protected garage, as it provided them with a way to travel to ministry locations when other means of transportation were shut down.

Bible study meetings were relocated to different homes and apartments in order to avoid persecution. Alexander often felt that the situation was impossible. Many of the believers in his Bible study groups had evacuated the area. At his lowest point, Alexander considered giving up and discontinuing the Bible study programs that offered non- believers something greater than the harsh world enveloping them.

Alexander found encouragement in the example of one lady who had been attending a Bible study group. She had only recently become a Christian, and she was the only believer remaining when the other members of the group evacuated the village. She, herself, began to organize meetings with unbelievers who were seeking her out with their questions about faith in God.

Alexander remarked, “If this sister who is young in faith has become such a shining light in this gloom and horror of war and darkness, then how much more must I continue?!”

Despite the difficulties and dangers, Alexander and a small group of believers continued to meet together and share the love of God with others. Though they often held their Bible studies under the wailing of sirens and the sounds of explosions, many people learned to trust God.

Clinging to the light of Jesus Christ amid their dark situation, the now liberated band of believers has learned an important lesson. They serve a God who WILL NOT forsake them.

Satisfaction in the Word

In January 2013, Ike and some friends were traveling on a mountain road in Myanmar by motorcycle. Ike’s friend ran into the back of a truck and was killed. Ike sustained some very severe injuries in the accident as well.

Ike recalls, “I broke three bones, and my neck was seriously damaged. When the people saw that I was not moving, they thought I was dead. I remained conscious and knew that something was seriously wrong.” Ike was taken to the nearest county hospital and then later transferred to a larger general hospital.

“I stayed on my back for six months,” Ike shared. “During that time I had become completely dependent on others. I felt so discouraged that I wanted to die.” However, at the same time, Ike also started to think more deeply about life. Does it have a purpose? Why did this tragedy happen to me?

In his search for answers, Ike read Buddhist scriptures, but found them hard to understand and had difficulty accepting the explanation that his current circumstances were the result of reaping bad Karma from a past life. Ike even talked with a Buddhist monk, but found his answers unsatisfying.

Earlier this year, two Reach A Village ministry partners visited Ike. “[They] gave me a portion of the Scripture which they call the New Testament. After I read that book, for the first time I found truth to satisfy my mind, which eventually allowed me to open my heart,” Ike explains. As he studied the Bible with other followers of Christ, Ike received the answers to his questions straight from the Word of God.

On February 12, Ike was baptized. “It was one of the happiest days of my life,” he declares. Now, Ike devotes his time to sharing with others about the truth found in the Bible and helping them to discover their own satisfaction in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Out of the Darkness

Benjamin in Myanmar felt like there was no hope for him. There was only darkness. His father passed away before he was born, and his mother left him in the hospital as Benjamin was born blind. Benjamin’s childhood memories are of living with an adopted mother who was a nurse. “She wasn’t very nice,” Benjamin recalls. “She would force me to go to the market and beg for money.”

Benjamin was a quiet child and very timid because of his blindness. He was lonely and never had a friend. Because of his disability, Benjamin was subjected to verbal and physical bullying. He remembers feeling unwanted and like an outcast.

“Because I hated life back then, I always wished I was dead,” Benjamin admits. “But something inside reassured me not to give up.” Finally, Benjamin decided to seek God. “Praying for the first time in my life, I opened up to God,” Benjamin shared. “I made a challenge to Him to talk to me, with all that I had inside of my shattered soul.”

Then, one night, the Living God gave Benjamin a dream. In his dream, he saw a Holy Man (Jesus) coming toward him in glowing white. The Holy Man had a book in His hand. As He handed Benjamin the book, He smiled upon him.

Three weeks later, Benjamin met Pastor Mark, who offered to give him the Burmese Treasures audio Bible so that he could listen to God’s Word. Using the 4-band radio with USB/SD and the audio Bible chips Pastor Mark provided, Benjamin heard the Gospel for the first time. Immediately and without reservation, Benjamin gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. “I never saw a man who received the Gospel with such joy,” Pastor Mark observed.

After Benjamin received Christ, a dramatic transformation took place in his heart, and his life was radically changed. Benjamin notes that his favorite Scripture verse is from John 8:12, where Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Benjamin acknowledges, “Now I know that God is all we need. The more I draw close to Him, the more I realize that nothing and no one else can give me the peace, joy and abundance of life we all need other than God himself.”

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