"Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with man is possible with God.' " Luke 18:27
Though we often pray for miracles, few of us would say we have experienced a burning bush event. Most of the time God works in the process, in the journey, over time. But God still does use miracles to win hearts for heaven as Varik, a church planter in Bulgaria, recently reminded us.
A large group had gathered for the service, and Varik was well into his sermon when he noticed that the congregation had grown restless. Then, he spotted an old woman sprawled lifelessly in her seat.
As the crowd began to realize that the woman was unresponsive and possibly no longer living, some attempted to resuscitate her, while others prayed. After some time, it was evident that the woman had no pulse or audible heartbeat. The woman’s daughter burst into tears and desperately cried out to God, “Lord, please don’t take my mother away!”
“More than 30 people were present at this service, unanimous that the old woman had no life left in her,” Varik says. “But after a few minutes of prayer, she blinked. Blood flowed into her cheeks, her eyes moved, and her pulse resumed!”
The group continued praying until the ambulance arrived, the woman’s pulse and blood pressure were measured, and everything was declared fine. The ambulance crew had no explanation for what occurred and sent the woman home.
Today, this woman is in complete health. Varik is still in awe of the miracle that they witnessed. “Nobody can convince me that God doesn’t exist!” he proclaims.
God is moving powerfully through Values Education, transforming young lives across the Philippines. For example, the mother of a boy expelled from school multiple times begged the principal to at least allow her son to attend the new Values Education class. The principal reluctantly agreed. Surprisingly, the boy listened carefully and would volunteer to read aloud from the Bible. He gave his life to Jesus, and his behavior changed so dramatically that he was allowed back in school!
In the last five years alone, over 620,000 Filipino children have been reached! The only thing preventing expansion into new schools is funding. Will you help share the love of Jesus with eager young hearts?
Rangsey is a fisherman in Cambodia who sells crabs from his boat dock. Now, his strong Christian faith radiates out from him to his customers, but he shares how he used to feel weighed down by the requirements of the traditional Cambodian religion handed down from his ancestors.
Rangsey believed that he needed to do enough good deeds to overcome the bad karma from his past reincarnations and earn eternal life in heaven. But he always fell short. He felt there was no hope in this life, only hopelessness and fear of hell.
One day as he was pondering these things, a church planter named Chantrea came to visit him. When she asked what was troubling him, Rangsey replied that he did not believe that our good deeds can save us from hell. Chantrea explained to him that Jesus Christ loves us with a limitless love and died to redeem those who believe in Him and accept Him as Lord.
As she spoke, Rangsey felt his heart flooding with the Lord’s pure love for him as a sinner, and tears coursed down his cheeks. He told Chantrea that he wanted to accept Jesus Christ immediately, follow Him and be His child. Chantrea then led Rangsey in a prayer confessing his sins to God.
Chantrea encouraged Rangsey to come to church on Sunday to worship God and receive a Bible that he could read and study in order to grow stronger in his faith. She said that as he prayed, Rangsey would draw closer to God and that God would speak to him through His Word.
Rangsey recalls, “My heart filled with great joy that I was receiving the redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ and eternal life in heaven with God, and I did not have to pay anything! I just believed in the name of the Lord Jesus, because He shed His awesome blood and paid for me already.”
Many of our church planters in Serbia and members of their congregations were once refugees. They have lived in fear of what the future will hold. They know what it means to be alone, without security, and hopeless.
These church planters explain that the Lord is now helping them to utilize their difficult experiences in ministering to others. As Syrian and Iranian refugees enter Serbia, these congregations have found ways to serve and to demonstrate God’s love.
“Refugees are coming here with the same feelings we had: unsure of what the next day may bring or when the next meal will be, not knowing how they are going to feed their children, or if they will ever be free,” one church planter tells.
Through the efforts of our church planters and their gracious congregations, many of these refugees have had their needs met and, in turn, have become more open to the Gospel. Recently, 13 new followers of Jesus were baptized!
“Jesus has indeed become my true refuge, a source of hope and peace in the midst of continuously unpredictable and difficult circumstances,” says one of the new believers.
The freedom they had been looking for by leaving their countries, they found in the One who alone can give real freedom. No matter where they end up, these 13 believers are free because they have Christ in their hearts.