A widow haunted by the past finds hope through student visitors.
The world we live in is full of brokenness. Although people greet their neighbors with a smile, they’re often struggling to hide the hurt and pain inside. Unless we’ve made a genuine surrender to Christ for him to take our brokenness and bind our wounds, we’re just pretending or looking for a distraction. Marlenny knows what this sort of life is like.
Marlenny was once a beautiful and very social young lady, growing up in simpler times in Colombia. She was educated enough to finish second grade, and worked as a cook on coffee and plantain farms for years. She married a special man who loved her and treated her gently. But one day, her life completely changed.
The guerrillas were widespread throughout Colombia 30 years ago. They especially invaded the mountains and countryside. One day, Marlenny’s husband did not return from work as usual. Worried, she went out to search for him. The police got involved, and it was found that he had been captured and killed by the guerrillas. Marlenny insisted on seeing his body, but the memory of the sight would haunt her for years.
Marlenny went into emotional shock and lost confidence in people. She became schizophrenic and abandoned her friends, believing that everyone was out to get her and do her harm. She stopped brushing her teeth and hair, and rarely bathed or changed her clothes. She refused the help offered by her children and social services, and eventually she was rejected by the community and what remained of her family.
Students from Fundación Las Delicias met Marlenny when we began a church planting project in Buenavista. The young people were selling bread, giving health talks and working with the needy of the community. They listened to Marlenny and hugged her in spite of her lack of hygiene. The widow had almost forgotten what it was like to be treated with love and respect. The Adventist message, shown with practical godliness, won her confidence.
I met Marlenny for myself one day, and felt deeply impressed by her need. I asked Marcela, a sister with a talent for social work at Las Delicias, to pay her a visit. Thanks to the witness of the students, Marlenny quickly accepted Marcela’s help. The widow answered Marcela’s questions and cooperated with a plan to improve her mental and physical health.
Everyone in Buenavista knows about Marlenny and the kindness we have shown her. At first, Marlenny was fearful to even have a haircut, but Marcela has been her confidant, teaching her to connect with Jesus and receive His healing. With patience and many tears, Marlenny has moved forward and is experiencing new healing every day.
We invited Marlenny to come for convocation in November and share her testimony. She is growing in love and grace, and the Lord is being magnified in her life. But there are many more like Marlenny who need this message. Please pray for our students who are carrying out this precious work. Pray for our health and the Bible workers who labor through towns and villages. We expect there to be many more testimonies like Marlenny’s.
Daniel and Kelly Miranda are volunteers at Fundación Las Delicias, a self-supporting ministry equipping youth for ministry in Bible work, health and agriculture.
How You Can Help
Pray that Marlenny will continue to faithfully serve the Lord. Also pray for those who currently study the Bible with her.
Donate. If you have a desire in your heart to help Bible workers reach more people in Colombia, mark your donations, “Colombia Evangelism” and mail to:
Mission Projects International
P.O. Box 151
Inchelium, WA 991138
For electronic options, visit: