Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Tale of Two Grace's


First, meet “Grace the Customer”.  Living alone, she lived for drink, going early in the day to the local brewer’s house to do chores so she could get the corn-based local brew for herself.  Tobacco was her other habit, and it all took a toll on her health.  Last year, sick, and troubled in her home by visits from evil spirits, she cried out to God.  He released her from the spirits’ grip, then appeared to her in a dramatic dream. She saw heaven and wanted to stay there, but was told she needed to return with messages for her children.  She was healed from that time on, and shortly after, she finally got up the courage to look for a church. There she heard about Jesus and gave her life to Him. 

She began attending a Tabitha Bible study, and although illiterate, learned the verses to earn her own Bible.  She takes her Bible to others who can read it to her.  She says, "His Word is like a bone.  I chew on it until it becomes soft and it enters my heart. I never went to school.  I ask God to teach me Himself, and He does.”    She loves Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Her neighbor friend attests to the witness she is having in her family and in their community by her changed life and word of testimony.


Meet the second lady, “Grace, the Brewer,” to whose home our first Grace went to work and drink each day.  Needing a way to support her family, this Grace began brewing alcohol years ago.  She perfected the process and was known for the “Number 1” brew in the area.  Although she did not drink herself, she says her yard was always full of drunkards, with her husband being one of them.  There was no peace in their family.  In spite of the business, she never had enough money for the family’s needs, and lived in fear of a police raid, day and night.  Finally, one day last year, she cried out to God, “How long will I have to live this way?”  Shortly after, she was arrested and taken to jail and there she decided she wanted to change.  Her son paid her bail, and then three Tabitha  Bible study leaders visited her in her home. 
Caroline and Julianna, on either side of Grace, visited her in her home
She says, “They brought life to me, sharing with me about Jesus.”  She gave her life to Christ, and has a whole new life. “God has really changed me.  No one had hope for me.  They were scared to come to our compound because of the drinking and fighting.  But now there is peace. God is wonderful!"  Luke 1:37, still encourages her.  “Nothing is impossible with God."

Best friends in the drinking business, and now sisters in Christ.  They were both baptized in December, earned their own Bibles in January and have been so eager to grow, they have been first to arrive at church and at the Bible studies.  Praise God that He heard their cries and revealed Himself to them.  And thank Him for faithful believers who pointed them to Christ.  
In October,  having accomplished God's will for her on earth, Grace the former customer, was welcomed home by Jesus.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, May 2, 2016

“We will weed your field, if you will please teach us the Bible!”

Sally's field
"We will weed your field if you will teach us the Bible." These were the words of the ladies of Kibaraa to Sally, a woman who had recently moved into their area.  They had tasted the sweetness of God’s Word earlier, when another new arrival had taught them the Bible for a short time.  When they found out Sally had moved from the same village, and that she had also been part of a Tabitha Bible study, they eagerly asked her to teach them the Word.

To their delight, Sally agreed, and for the last year she has led a steadily growing group of women in a weekly study of John.  But with only a handful of Bibles among them, it was difficult to lead the studies. They have worked hard at learning the 17 verses needed to earn a Bible, and on March 20 Peris and I, along with five other Tabitha leaders, escorted 69 Bibles to the Kibaraa Church to present them to these women. 
A three-hour road trip singing much of the way!
Bibles boxed and ready for distribution
What a celebration we had!  The women receiving the Bibles could have danced all day!

video


God moved as we worshiped together.  Pastors from six churches attended, excited about the possibility of helping the studies to spread to their villages, too. 

Pray for Sally, who made a new commitment to dedicate herself to continuing the spread of God’s Word in the area.  Now, a month later, Sally teaches the Bible study each week to five leaders who are leading their own local studies.  The Word spreads on!

Sally, the Bible teacher in Kibaraa