A couple working in a creative access country share this story about local believers. Where they live, believing in Jesus is a tremendous risk.
Fear is a horrible master. But wouldn’t you be afraid if they took away your job, simply because they found a picture of a cross on your computer? And then told you that if you came back to work, they would send the militias to kill you? Or what if your family took you to the sheikh, who made small cuts in your skin, and then burned them to release the demons they were certain controlled you?
Yet the Spirit whispered to Sophia’s soul that the words of Jesus are true. She tried to ‘be Muslim’ and adamantly denied following Jesus, yet she kept being drawn back to learn more of him. The online community of believers heard of her suffering, and would send her Scripture and pray for hours with her in the evenings when she experienced panic attacks and couldn’t sleep.
Sophia just wanted to escape to be able to follow Jesus in peace, but it was in trying to leave that she met other local believers and learned she could follow Jesus here too. She began to read with them, hear the stories of others who suffered too, pray aloud and be prayed for.
At home she was still afraid and would join her family in bowing down for their daily prayers five times a day, saying the Lord’s prayer to herself over and over. She was certain she had no choice but to keep her faith secret.
Then one day, her younger sister was in tears and in despair, and Sophia said to herself, “Whatever happens, happens.” Holding up the New Testament, she said to her, “This is the truth. This is life.” The two of them met up again to talk about the gospel and the Spirit breathed her sister, Rhoda, to life.
This is the truth
Rhoda felt the Holy Spirit come over her. She felt completely new and, in tears, she immediately began to pray to Jesus for the lives of her family. When she went home, she read voraciously, studied constantly, and would spend hours sharing with her sisters. One day when talking with her mum about the stories of Jesus, her mum said, “Your grandfather used to tell us these stories. Instead of arresting people for having the Bible, he just took the Bible from them and brought it home to read to us.” Give thanks that families are slowly turning to Christ.