“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of those who bring Good News, who say, ‘Our God reigns!’…” (Isaiah 52:7)
Sam (name changed) and his village were desperate to know Jesus. They heard about Him but did not receive any written Word of God for 15 years until our leader, Hope, took the LUV discipleship training to Sam who took it to his church last May. Sam made the 12-hour trip from the mountains last week to tell us of the transformation God has done in his church in the last 5 months. His testimony is the story of his tribe searching for Jesus, their persecution and their transformation through His word:
“We don’t have the Bible in our language so when we heard about the LUV Bible training from another tribe, we wanted to attend. Before this, our people had believed in Jesus as their Savior for 15 years but their lives hadn’t been changed because we didn’t know God’s Word. The women felt they were very small and inferior. They thought they don’t have any ability to share the Gospel with others. They thought their job was only to go and work in the fields, and sharing the Gospel was work for the men and the leaders. They saw their lives like caterpillars and that’s how they felt. Our people group see themselves as so pitiful because they live in the very highest mountains, are not educated and don’t know the main national language. They think they are not as intelligent as other ethnic groups.
In May all our church went through LUV Workshop One teaching and the whole church has been changed! In some families the wife was a believer but the husband was not. Many of the men were drinking or drug addicts and the wives didn’t dare share the Gospel with their husbands because the wives were afraid. But after learning God’s Word through the teaching of LUV, the lives of the wives changed and they started to repent for not sharing with their husbands. They began to share with their husbands and families telling them about the caterpillar. The mountain people understand the image of the caterpillar well as they see caterpillars all the time all over the mountains. They could understand very well how their lives are like these caterpillars.
When they hear the Good News through the caterpillar and butterfly, they receive Jesus and they repent. And now their lives are really changed. The husbands who were drug addicts have changed and become really good husbands in their families. Before, they would sell their property for drugs. Now they work to improve their property.
Now the women in the church go to other house churches to share God’s Word with them. Our church used to be 100 people but in the past 5 months after studying the Word in Workshop One, the 100 increased to become 200. Those who used to be drug addicts and backsliders have repented and have come back to church. God is working in our church now through receiving this Word and many women who used to be very shy and timid can now stand up and share God’s Word.
Recently some of our women went out to other provinces, to share God’s Word where it is unknown. The police in that area came and caught them. They surrounded the women and tried to stop them. When the women returned home, I asked them, “Did you feel fearful because of that?” They said no, they were not afraid because God was with them. In the Joshua 1 lesson, they had learned that God said to take courage because He will be with them.
They shared God’s Word for one day and one night in that area with a class of 30 women. The police entered the small house where the women were meeting, demanding that all the women leave. The two women trainers handed the police a LUV manual and told them to read each page – stating firmly that the women were learning to be good women in their communities and how to love their husbands more. Then the head woman said, “Now, sit down in the back. I have training to do. If you don’t like what you hear, then we will leave.” So the police sat at the back of the class and listened for two hours to what the women taught, but they did not interrupt them.
At the end of the training, the 30 women filed out of the room and went home. The police tried to bring the two head women to the local prison for questioning. But the LUV women boldly repeated that the teaching in the manuals is good for their people since it changes them for the better. “It is a good thing for our people and our community.” Then they told the police they couldn’t go with them, “What kind of women would we be if we go with strange men?! Our husbands would not be happy! Now we have to leave. Our husbands are waiting for us.” And they started walking down the path to go home. The police watched while they walked past them and didn’t try to stop them! The women arrived back home safely! Praise God, He has given our people courage through His Word!!
We first heard about Jesus on the radio channel, Living Source, fifteen years ago. After we heard about Him on the radio we wanted to find someone who knew about Jesus to help us. We could find no one in our tribe. We can’t tell you all the stories about how we were seeking for God, trying to find a person who can pray for us. We spent two days and two nights in the forest trying to find someone, trying to find Jesus. We found one other man from another tribe who knew about Jesus, but he was too scared to tell us about Him. If the authorities found out that he knew Jesus and told us about Him they would put him in prison, he may be killed.
My elder brother used to be a very successful business man. He found someone from another tribe who secretly witnessed to him about Jesus and my brother believed in Jesus. Then my brother came to my village and shared with the whole village. In one day and one night 175 people became believers. Not long after that my brother was arrested and put in prison. For 15 days he was chained. The chains were so tight they were cutting him and causing so much pain. He tried to break the chains and he finally escaped from the prison. When he escaped, the police came to the village every day to search for him.
Thank God we didn’t have any Bibles. We believed in God and we prayed secretly but we didn’t dare to pray in our house. About 3am we would go to the forest to pray. During the day the police roamed around the village all day. Soon the 175 believers spread the Word to other places, other provinces, among our tribe. Soon the gospel was spreading everywhere. We had no Bibles, no teaching. We only knew to pray and that Jesus was our Savior. Many of the believers were put in prison, many were held there for a long time. Some were badly beaten. Many of us were persecuted, beaten and bleeding. Now we are standing to praise Him. Thank God that now in our province and tribe there are 4,000 believers and 35 churches. Now we have freedom to gather together. As we were so many, the government had to register our church. But we still don’t have the Bible in our language. The only Word we have is in the LUV manuals.
Please ask brothers and sisters all over the world to pray that we will get the Bible translated in our language and please pray that we will get more Love UnVeiled training, teaching and manuals to reach all our churches in our tribe, not only in our province but other provinces too. They all need this teaching. Many of our tribe in many provinces have come to know Jesus for salvation, but they don’t know about the changes from the old life, to the new life. They don’t know how to please God or live in freedom and power.”