A young addict finds a new life of freedom.
The fantasy world of marijuana can be difficult to break free from, but Lazarus Kuipa did it! If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed how quickly he gave it up and that without a long recovery process. Lazarus showed me that anything is possible with God.
Lazarus lives in my village, and I never would have expected him to come to Christ the way he did. I had decided to hold a weeklong series of meetings to address an idea that had gained traction in our area: the keeping of the annual Jewish feasts. To my surprise, Lazarus attended. On the fourth evening, he arrived early and listened to the prelude music. After the message about the sacrificial lamb’s blood, Lazarus approached me. “I have decided to give my life to Jesus,” he said. “Will you pray for me?”
“Young man,” I said. “I will gladly pray with you.”
After presenting Lazarus to the Lord, I asked him what had inspired the change in his heart. “The joy and interest I had in the meetings compelled me to come early tonight,” he said. “Already God’s grace had softened my heart, and the songs you played before the sermon touched me. The Holy Spirit moved me so strongly to accept Jesus, I felt unable to resist. I just obeyed.”
The Bible says, “To day if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 3:7, 8. I praise God not only that He visited Lazarus and gave him an opportunity to know Jesus, but also that Lazarus didn’t refuse or postpone the call. By resolutely deciding to give God his heart, he allowed God to change him completely. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26. Praise the Lord! He fulfilled this beautiful promise in Brother Lazarus’s life. Jesus accepted him just as he was, and from that day Lazarus became my faithful student. I studied the Bible and prayed with him, and then I prayed for God to do what I could not do for him. God answered. He closed the windows of Lazarus’s heart earthward and opened them heavenward, and He freed him from the slavery of his sinful habits. I saw the miracle, and it showed me why I must work together with the Lord in soul-winning.
Soon Lazarus became convicted that he should be baptized. We studied the Bible together until he understood even the heavy topics like God’s last warning in Revelation 14. He accepted the message fully and completely. He said, “I am happy to be a Sabbath keeper and faithfully follow where Jesus leads. I am willing to learn how to keep the Sabbath holy. Besides, I want to learn the beautiful songs in the hymnal and live the Adventist lifestyle.” And so, at our December camp meeting, Lazarus followed the example of his Master and was baptized.
If God could give Lazarus a new life of freedom, I know that others are not beyond Christ’s power of deliverance. Divine power and human efforts won a soul to Christ. Divine power and the surrender of his will brought victory in Lazarus’s life! Only God knows His plans for His born-again son, but I suspect that he will have opportunities to go back and help his friends still in bondage. God has many ways to deliver a soul from the oppression of sin—ways of which we know nothing!
Papua New Guinea
Moses Yauma is a lay evangelist in the Upper Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
How You Can Help
Pray for Lazarus as he begins his new life in Christ. Pray for his influence to win others to Jesus!
Pray for Brother Moses’s work in the Upper Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Give to save souls in Papua New Guinea by sending your gift marked “PNG Evangelism” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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