Sawee is one of our young friends living in Laoka village. She is an orphan, and because of various bad decisions in her past, her village rejects her. We began to study the Bible with her and her partner a couple of months ago, and they seem very interested in knowing more about Jesus. However, she was living with this man outside of marriage. For the village, that is a very serious offense. It brings many curses from the spirits to her and all the community.
Because of this, the village met to force Sawee to make sacrifices to the spirits to not bring evil to the entire community. Because she trusted Jesus, she did not want to make the sacrifices, so the social pressure in the village increased. The villagers forced Sawee to move further away from them. They even persecuted her with comments and threats on her way to her work field, instilling fear in her. Amid this war, we all prayed and tried to show our love and care for her. Finally, she decided to make the sacrifices so that the community would not bother her anymore. She approached us and said, “This is the last time, I promise you. I want to be free of this to follow Jesus forever, and I promise that I will never make another sacrifice to the spirits.”
We saw in Sawee’s face the sadness and shame that she felt. She had studied in the Bible about not making sacrifices, and she knew that what she was deciding to do was not what God wanted from her. She knew that we were not in a position where we could support acts that were not in accordance with the Bible. But what we did tell her is that God loved her, that we loved her, and that we would not stop visiting her and studying the Bible. She understood, but she proceeded to perform her sacrifice in her home. Our hearts were filled with sadness yet mingled with hope. We continue praying for her and her partner, knowing that only God can save them and set them free.
As promised, we returned to visit Sawee and restart the Bible studies. Although she felt isolated and shamed for being forced by her village to live on the other side of the field, she was filled with joy to see that we had not abandoned her. As the weeks passed, we continued to study the Bible. Sawee and her partner married, and they continue becoming more engaged in studying the Bible. Every week they make new decisions for Jesus. They continue to learn about God’s sacrifice on the cross for them, learn to pray personally and as a family, and go to church every Saturday, leaving their burdens on Jesus when they have problems and trusting him every day.
1 month ago, Sawee asked us, “When can my husband and I get baptized? We are ready.”
We are happy that they have decided to give themselves to Jesus through baptism and continue to learn to be His disciples. We will continue accompanying them on this journey, obeying the commandments of Jesus and receiving the blessing of His presence and the joy and freedom that only He can give them.
We praise God for allowing us to work for Him. Sometimes it is difficult, and problems arise from different fronts, but it is all worth it when we see how God continues to do His work through the Holy Spirit. The more time we serve in the mission field, the more we realize that it is not God helping us in His work, but us collaborating with Him in work He has been doing for these people for years. It is not about us; it is about Him. We just need to see where we can be His instruments.
I would like to ask you to pray for the people who are reached by the Gospel in this project. That they may follow Christ despite the attacks that the enemy tries to create in them.
Thank you. God bless you.
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