“If we can bear persecution for His dear name’s sake, His love becomes a ruling power in our hearts, for we have the assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Never is the tempest-tried soul more dearly loved by his Savior than when he is suffering reproach for the truth’s sake. When for the truth’s sake the believer stands at the bar of unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side.” That I May Know Him, 275.
Have you ever been threatened with banishment from your community because you decided to keep God’s holy Sabbath? Mrs. Gladys Saidi and Mrs. Saidiwho received just such treatment for their willingness to obey God’s Word.
In the southern African country of Malawi, where these two ladies live, the COVID-19 lockdown has continued for several months, with no end to the restrictions. However, this has not stopped Golden Lapani and his team of Bible workers from visiting house to house and ministering to the people’s needs. Countless people are suffering for lack of basic necessities like food, medicine, and clothing. Because of the people’s desperate situations, many are willing to open their doors and listen to the Bible workers tell them about Jesus and His love. Scores of individuals and families have started Bible studies in the last few months. Mrs. Saidi and Mrs. Saidiwho were among those souls seeking answers and peace during this crisis.
On the same day in March, a few weeks after the lockdown started, two Muslim ladies responded to Golden’s invitation to take Bible studies. Mrs. Saidi and Mrs. Saidiwho opened not only the doors of their homes, but the doors of their hearts to the Holy Spirit. The first overwhelming challenge in their Bible studies was accepting Christ as God and as their only hope of salvation. They also needed to accept the Bible as inspired by God. To a Muslim, these are huge hurdles. The next major challenge was acknowledging the truth about the Sabbath; yet both ladies saw clearly from the Bible that the seventh day of the week is God’s holy day of rest.
These ladies’ husbands detected something strange happening one Sabbath morning when both began getting ready for something important. When questioned, the women told their husbands that they were going to church. Infuriated, the husbands went directly to the Iman at the local mosque. Upon arriving home on Sabbath afternoon, both ladies were informed that they must give up these new ideas or be banished forever from their village. Right in front of their husbands and the Iman, the women took off their hijabs to show that they had renounced Islam and embraced Christianity.
As a result of the strong stance these “Vashtis” made for Jesus that day, their husbands and all their children are now studying the Bible and preparing for baptism. Christ does indeed stand by the side of those who are persecuted for
righteousness’ sake! If you would like to help spread the Three Angels’ Messages in Malawi, mark your gifts, “Malawi evangelism.”