Koni, a wife and mother in Bulgaria with a six-year-old child, was diagnosed with an advanced form of cervical cancer at just 33 years old. During surgery, the doctors determined that nothing could be done to reverse the disease. The metastasis was too widespread to remove all of the cancer. They released her, telling her that she had little time left.
Koni lost her appetite and suffered from chronic bleeding and sleep deprivation. She fell into a depression and couldn’t properly care for her family. One day, she sat on a bench outside the house, where her child couldn’t see her, and burst into tears. That’s when God brought Maria into her life!
Maria had been a church member for many years, but had never really reached out to share the Gospel with others. She was generally a quiet woman, occupied with her own problems. Recently, however, she had completed one of our Bible study courses, where she learned that every Christian is called to serve as a witness, not just ordained ministers. So, Maria shared Christ with Koni, prayed for her, and invited her to come to church.
After meeting Maria, Koni ate with appetite for the first time in months. Then, she went to church. The entire congregation prayed for her, and that night, Koni slept peacefully, free of pain.
A few days later, she was scheduled to undergo another surgery. When Koni went for her pre-surgery checkup, the doctors could not find any traces of cancer in her body! After her doctor gave her the news, Koni broke down in joyful tears and witnessed to him about the new life she had received in Christ.
God continues to move powerfully across Thailand. In October, our ministry partners held a baptism for 630 Thai people! Everyone who participated in this public expression of faith has been a follower of Jesus for less than two years.
We estimate that over 800 people in total would have been baptized, but opposition from local religious leaders prevented believers in several villages from coming. In one case, a temple leader used her car to block a bus from leaving! Please continue to pray for the ministry in Thailand as 95 percent of villages still have not heard the Gospel.
Every day, the Good News is being preached through the faithful work of our ministry partners, the Free in Jesus Christ Church Association. Last year alone, over 6,000 Thai people committed their lives to Jesus, and 192 new house churches were established.
Thank you for your partnership to help reach every village with the power of the Gospel!
“I was so fed up with life,” Hlaing Arkar (at right) in Myanmar shares. “I have a lot of anxiety and depression due to terminal illness and poverty. I didn't think that the pain and suffering would ever end.”
It never occurred to him that God could possibly be real. One day, Hlaing Arkar was discussing his problems with his nephew. “He helped me learn a little bit about Jesus and prayer. I also found out about a meeting in their house, which led me to know more about God,” Hlaing Arkar tells.
As he attended the Bible studies with local Christians, Hlaing Arkar began to realize that nobody could help him but Jesus, Himself. “I felt like I couldn't trust my religion, people, money, fate, or even myself. So, I turned to the Lord. The day I gave my life to Jesus was Sept. 23, 2019,” he says.
The Bible verse that changed his life was Ephesians 2:8-9: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast."
Hlaing Arkar proclaims, “I am totally astounded at what God has done for me! I've never been happier. Now I believe the Lord has taken away my sin, sickness and poverty. Eventually, He freed me from all anxiety and depression. I know I couldn't do this by myself, but the Lord has done it for me on the cross!”
Caroline in Poland was raised to attend church, but no one ever told her that she could have a personal relationship with God. She felt like she could never meet her family’s expectations. “They criticized me, telling me I would never achieve anything,” she says. “So, I reacted by cutting myself. I started going to parties, got into alcohol, cigarettes, sometimes drugs, and trouble with boys. I was 18 at the time."
“I decided to go to college in some big city. I figured I could pay for everything by working as a prostitute. Those were my plans. If things didn’t go the way I planned it, I could always end my life.“
Then, at college, Caroline met Simon, and he began talking to her about God. She recalls, “This topic was so interesting to me. We arranged to meet, and he started explaining to me how he met God and became a Christian. Since that time, my life began to change.”
Simon gave Caroline a Bible, and she started reading the Gospel. “I was praying and seeing God answer my prayers and reading the Bible and learning more about Him,” she shares. Later, Simon invited Caroline to a youth meeting, and she is still involved. “I got baptized,” she tells. “My parents actually came to my baptism. We finally started to develop a relationship – especially with my mom because we never had one.”
Caroline began training to lead Bible studies, and her desire to share the Gospel grew as she learned ways to talk to people about Jesus. She was living with her 91-year-old aunt, and they started studying God’s Word together. During the first lesson, her aunt prayed in her own words for the first time. “She’s really happy that we can meet and study God’s Word together,” Caroline notes. “It is a great joy for me to see what she has discovered for herself in the Bible!”