Lina’s Story

Lina’s Story

A paralyzed woman receives hope through door-to-door Bible work.

Lina sighed as she dropped the last coins into the cash register. It had been a long night, but closing time had finally come. She picked up her keys from behind the bar and turned toward the door.

Just then, a man staggered in. “Hey lady,” he slurred, “sell me one last beer.”

Lina looked at the clock, then at the drunk. “No, señor,” she shook her head. “We are already closed.”

The man’s face turned red and he reached for the gun in his holster. Bang. Lina’s head throbbed, and everything went black.

Miraculously, Lina survived the gunshot to her head, but life had been dreary ever since. Now mostly paralyzed, she lived with her sister, her parents and her young son. Instead of being grateful that her life had been spared, her family seemed to begrudge the care she required. They reviled her for her wickedness and made her feel as though she had caused her own wretched condition. Lina had lost almost all hope. Then Arnold knocked on her door.

Arnold’s kindness brought a glimmer of joy from the first day. Every week, he visited Lina to give her Bible studies and share encouraging promises. When Arnold left town, he arranged for other Bible workers to continue visiting Lina. Their songs, Bible studies and prayers brought a smile to her face. Lina’s hope revived because of God’s Word and His missionaries.

When the Bible workers first told Lina about a week of prayer to be held at the local Seventh-day Adventist Church, she immediately told them she wanted to go. But there was a problem. Cordoba, the town where Lina lives, lies at the foot of the Andes, which means there are no flat streets. From one end to the other, the town is uphill. It would be a real challenge to push Lina’s wheelchair all the way to the church! Moreover, the doctors had advised Lina only to leave home in an ambulance. Her wheelchair does not fold, so it would not fit in the vehicle available to give Lina a ride to the church—and she is a heavy person, so it would be difficult to get her in and out of the car. Lastly, her parents would have to give their permission for Lina to attend the meetings.

Challenges notwithstanding, we decided to move forward by faith. God touched Lina’s mom’s heart, and she gave her permission for the first night. One of the missionaries pushed the empty wheelchair all the way up the road to the church, while I drove her in the car. It was the first time since the shooting, three years past, that Lina had been out to see the town. Tears mingled with her smile as we drove—but when we arrived at the church, Lina seemed to be the happiest woman alive. At the end of the sermon, when the preacher made the appeal, Lina wheeled her way forward. She decided she wanted to be baptized!

The next day we brought a bigger car to pick up Lina, but to our disappointment, her angered father would not allow her to go. We prayed harder. The following day, some of the church members visited her, and finally, her parents consented to let her go. Later the pastor visited, and agreed for the missionaries to proceed with final preparations to help Lina be ready for baptism.

Our hearts have rejoiced to see the decisions Lina has made for Christ. We praise the Lord for answering our prayers and giving Lina victory over Satan’s plots!


Location
Colombia

Author
Daniel Miranda is the chair of the Bible and Evangelism Department at Fundación Las Delicias.

How You Can Help
Pray that Lina will fully surrender her life to God day by day, and for her family also to be touched with the gospel message.

Give to the work in Colombia by sending your donations marked “Colombia Evangelism” or “Colombia Church Planting” to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

For online options, visit:
www.missionspro.org/donate

Thank You
Fundación Las Delicias says thank you to all the MPI supporters for your contributions to God’s work on their side of the world!


Taught by a Woman

Taught by a Woman

The object of a man’s prejudice shares the gospel with him.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the most populated French-speaking country in the world. Home to over 85 million people and more than 250 ethnic groups, Congo has a broad diversity of culture and traditions.

One Congolese culture does not allow women equal social status with men. Women cannot be seen in discussion with men in public. They do not exercise leadership or hold teaching positions over men. When women from this culture are converted to Christianity, they feel compelled to maintain this tradition and never preach or teach in churches.

Kalala lived in the city of Kikwit, 450 miles north of Kinshasa. From his youth, he developed prejudice and vowed that he would never learn anything from a woman. When he embraced this discriminatory culture, it changed his life. If in his school lessons a woman rose to teach, he switched classrooms. Kalala had been raised Roman Catholic, but when he discovered that nuns and parishioners were allowed to read Scriptures before the congregation, he left the church in disgust. Switching to a Pentecostal church in Kikwit, he ran into the same story – women were speaking in church. Offended, he left religion completely. Ultimately, Kalala decided not to marry. He isolated himself and became addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

Then one day, Kalala grew seriously ill. He had no friends to take care of him during this difficult time. 

Esther, a female Bible worker in the community, heard about Kalala’s situation. She prayed for wisdom to reach out to the isolated man, and went to check on him.

“You are the first person to visit me,” Kalala told her in surprise.

The following day, Esther saw the sick man again and carried him a nourishing meal. She brought her husband with her, and they left water for drinking and a hot bath. Esther also found a nurse to take care of Kalala’s medical needs. For two weeks, the woman Bible worker visited as Kalala’s health improved. His diet of vegetables, fruit and water had a healing effect.

Kalala grew curious about his new friend. Hearing that she was an evangelist, he wanted to know more about the faith that made her so kind. “Could I have Bible studies?” he finally asked.

Three months later, Kalala visited the local Adventist church planted by Esther and her husband. Kalala asked for prayers that he could break free from his drug and alcohol addiction. 

God answered the prayers. Today, the man is free from more than just drugs and alcohol: he is no longer prejudiced. He is a baptized Seventh-day Adventist believer, helping Esther to reach more people with the Three Angels’ Messages. 


Location
Democratic Republic of Congo

Author 
Narrated by Esther Kamwanya to Pastor Ongasa, who wrote the story.

How You Can Help

Pray for Pastor Ongasa’s team of Bible workers in the Congo.

Give. If you would like to donate to Bible workers in the Congo, mark your donation “Congo Bible Workers” and send it to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

For electronic options, visit www.missionspro.org/donate.


Letter from Mike: Congo – May 2019

As I write, I am traveling home from the impoverished country of Democratic Republic of Congo, where God is doing an amazing work. During my trip I thought often about Matthew 4:16, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” Even today, the world holds some very dark areas, spiritually speaking. Many have never heard the gospel message of Revelation 14. Of the 41 million people in Western Congo, tens of millions have never even had an opportunity to hear God’s last warning message. In fact, a majority of the cities and villages in this region have no Seventh-day Adventist church. The people are left to believe in the evil traditions of ancestor worship and to seek counsel from witch doctors for guidance in their lives.

For the past year and a half, Mission Projects International has been working with a team of twenty Bible workers led by Thomas Ongasa, a faithful Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our mission together is to plant churches in the darkest places of the DR Congo. Many of these remote villages can be reached only by foot or 4-wheel drive.

Before being sent out into the field, the workers attend a training school to give them a thorough understanding of public and personal evangelism. After their classroom education, they work in a local church under a faithful pastor who supervises and guides them. This gives them training in organizing church services and preaching. During my trip, I visited with all twenty of the Bible workers we support to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and to see the churches they have raised up. I saw firsthand how God is using these Bible workers to reach the unreached!

Emmanuel, one of the Bible workers hired by Mission Projects, is working in the region of Bandundu, a remote area on the Wamba River. The Lord has blessed this faithful brother’s work. In just a year and a half he has established three new churches and is working to raise up a fourth. Through his energetic enthusiasm to share Christ’s love in the Three Angels’ Messages, more than 110 people have been baptized. When Emmanuel shared the Sabbath in his first public campaign, many were convinced of the truth from the Bible. The village chief attended that meeting, and he was convicted of the truth and decided to surrender to the Lord. To follow through with his decision, the chief donated a plot of land to build a bush church and there began observing the Sabbath along with a large group who had also taken their stand. A few weeks later, as some of the new believers were going to church, they saw one of their number going out to work in his cornfield. The chief and several others approached this man and warned him not to work on the Sabbath. The man said he was going to work anyway. That day he had a terrible accident. Many who heard about it were convinced that the Sabbath must be God’s day of worship. The man’s accident actually helped more people to listen to the Bible worker’s message! A mighty work began in this area and has been spreading like wildfire throughout the surrounding villages.

Mission Projects would like to hire more Bible workers to plant many churches in the dark areas of the Congo. Our first goal is to have fifty Bible workers fanning out through this land. To support a Bible worker costs less than three dollars per day. If you feel impressed to help send more Bible workers into dark regions, mark your donations “Congo Workers.”

Yours in letting the light shine!


Letter from Mike: Colombia – February 2019

After Christ arose from the grave, He spent forty days with His disciples teaching them and preparing them for the work that was before them. Finally, the day came for Him to return to Heaven and carry on His work of redemption. Jesus assembled His disciples on the Mount of Olives to receive His instructions for taking the message of a risen Savior to the ends of the earth. He did not tell His disciples that their work would be easy. Instead, He showed them the vast confederacy of evil that would be arrayed against them. They would have to battle against the enemy of souls, who would oppose them in their work of saving souls. Jesus assured them that if they moved forward by faith, He would be with them. “He made full provision for the prosecution of their work and took upon Himself the responsibility of its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail. Go to all nations, He bade them. Go to the farthest part of the habitable globe and be assured that My presence will be with you even there. Labor in faith and confidence; for the time will never come when I will forsake you. I will be with you always, helping you to perform your duty, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, sustaining you, giving you success in speaking words that shall draw the attention of others to heaven.” Acts of the Apostles, 29.

Spiritual battles are raging in the country of Colombia, and Satan is trying to oppose the progress of the message there just as he did in ancient Israel. Daniel Maranda and his team of Bible workers entered a new area of Colombia with the hope of starting a church. Going door to door for weeks is not easy, but the Bible workers moved forward by faith, trusting that they were moving under the shield of Omnipotence. Arnold, one of the Bible workers, knocked on a door where a woman named Eunice lived, and he offered Bible studies to this desperate-looking lady. He learned that she knew God when she was younger, but had returned to her old sinful ways. As Arnold stood on the doorstep of her home, telling her of God’s willingness to forgive all her backsliding if she would return Him, hope lit up Eunice’s face. Arnold began Bible studies with her, and her conviction to return to the Lord deepened. Soon he invited her to attend the evangelistic meetings that were being held by Baboloki, another one of the Bible workers. After weeks of intense studies with Arnold and stirring sermons on the Three Angels’ Messages preached by Baboloki, Eunice committed her life to Jesus and was baptized. The truth transformed her life, and her sons noticed it. As her sons saw their mother’s newfound love for Jesus, they asked Arnold to come and conduct Bible studies with them.

Eight precious souls were baptized through the evangelistic meetings, and many more people are studying for baptism. The home where these new believers are worshipping is far too small. They urgently need a church building to accommodate all who are currently attending. If you feel impressed to help with this project, send your donation marked “Colombia Churches,” and please pray for the work in Colombia as the workers enter new areas.

Yours in pressing the gospel to the ends of the earth,


Marlenny

Marlenny

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.


Location
Colombia

Author
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:
www.missionspro.org/donate


Total Transformation

Total Transformation

A young woman’s family didn’t believe she could change—but the church persevered.

Challenging neighborhoods surround the Central Adventist Church in Armenia, Quindio, Colombia, with drug use common. Still, week to week the members go and search for hearts that are open to the gospel. One Sabbath afternoon as we went out to give Bible studies, a church member happened to meet a former neighbor of hers. The neighbor said she believed her daughter Helen was demon possessed and asked if we could help.

We found the house, and a young woman greeted us—the very person we were looking for. Helen accepted our invitation to study the Bible, but from inside the house, family members screamed obscenities. “Oh yes, she needs Bible studies,” they cackled, “but good luck: she’s got demons.”

The next week when our outreach group met up, we asked who would go and study with Helen. Some were afraid, but Martha and Argenis stepped up to the challenge, saying, “If God be for us, who can be against us? We will go.” Grateful for their courage, I agreed to accompany them. Bowing our heads, we prayed for protection and asked the Lord to work on Helen’s heart.

Soon Martha, Argenis, Helen and I settled in the living room to begin our first Bible study. Helen’s family sat in the other room. Everything seemed normal at first. Then, as we looked up texts, Helen’s eyes started to roll back and forth wildly. Even stranger, the family began screaming obscenities at each other and at Helen.

The shouting continued as Helen recovered, but we pressed on with the study despite it. Helen seemed genuinely interested, but we knew she had a major battle to fight against the enemy of souls. I was glad we had several in our group so that we could pray for Helen, her family and each other all throughout the study.

At the study’s conclusion, we returned to the church shaken but prayerful. Sharing our testimony, we asked for prayer. All that week we interceded for Helen.

The following Sabbath, I asked Martha and Argenis if they were still up for studying with Helen. They smiled bravely and said, “Yes.” Baboloki, an intern from Las Delicias, also tagged along. Nothing strange happened, and Helen showed such great interest and enthusiasm that Baboloki invited her back to the church for a Bible class and youth program. Stepping into the Adventist church for the first time, Helen listened carefully and asked for help looking up the Bible texts. Her face beamed with peace and love.

The next Sabbath after her Bible study, Helen asked to tag along with us to hear our Bible studies with our other contacts. Once again, she came for the afternoon Bible class and Adventist Youth program. Then she asked when else the church has meetings.

Beginning that day, Helen has faithfully attended the Sabbath morning and Wednesday evening services. Two months later, she was baptized and became a very active church member. She gives Bible studies herself, shares during Sabbath School and sometimes leads out in the Adventist Youth programs.

If you met Helen today, you would never guess that she once had demons. The power of prayer and constant intercession made the difference for her. She been freed from the chains of the enemy and now beams hope to her family and community. Please partner with us in praying for Helen and the others reaching out in this community. Pray that we will reach many souls like her with the Three Angels’ Messages!


Location
Colombia

Author
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 God will continue to keep Helen faithful. Pray for those with whom she and others are studying the Bible.

Give. If you have a desire in your heart to help Bible workers reach more people in Colombia, send your donations marked “Colombia Evangelism” to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

For electronic options, visit:
www.missionspro.org/donate