Through life’s challenges, a new believer experiences God’s amazing answers to prayer!
Wonderful Lord! He answered my prayers directly. The magistrate reduced my prison sentence from twenty years to five, which to me seemed like five days instead of life! As I saw God working in me and for me, I requested baptism of my own accord.
Soon after the trial, I was transferred to a prison too far away for my friends and relatives to visit me. I was glad to have Jesus as my Savior and Friend, and thankful for church fellowship in my new prison. My church brothers and pastors often prayed with me, asking God to repair my relationships with my wife, my family members and my community. When I thought about my release from prison, I worried about where I could go to pray and worship, since I did not know of any Seventh-day Adventist Churches near my home. “God will open a way where there is none,” my friends encouraged me.
When my prison term ended and I returned home, I found my house completely broken down. My mother had died two years before my release, so I went to stay with my brothers. Even though they did not believe in Christ, I prayed with them daily and told them that Jesus had saved me. I asked if they knew of any Seventh-day Adventists near our village. They told me of a man named Moses living in another village. I visited Moses and shared with him my challenges and all that the Lord had done for me. “Come with me to church next Sabbath,” he said. “The nearest church is at Kisabo.” Even with the 23-kilometer (14-mile) walk, I was happy to attend!
Before the Sabbath, Moses told the church leaders about my prison conversion and my demolished home; and so, after the church service, the elders asked me to talk with them and share my story. They decided to build a house for me and give me food, blankets and clothing to begin my new life. They also looked up my wife and children and told them that I had changed and become a new person in Christ. Within a month, I was living in my new house. I was overjoyed when my wife and children decided to follow Jesus with me. At last, we became a happy family living together in peace.
Because our church was so far from our home, we decided to organize a new congregation in a primary school that was central to everyone in the area. The church leaders sent two pastors to pray with us, and they counseled us to look for land and do some fundraising to help us build our own church. As we laid plans, God sent a good Samaritan from America to pay for the church property. This amazed all of us—but especially me, because we purchased the land from somebody who had bought it from my father.
When I was in prison, I used to cry and ask God where I could go and pray. Now God has given me a church on my parents’ land! Not only that, but some of my brothers have decided to join us at our new church. My joy overflows!
Through all my life challenges—especially since my imprisonment—I have come to see and experience for myself that God really, truly answers prayer!
Joel Kipkemoi Chepkwony is a new believer from the village of Tuiyopei in Kericho County.
How You Can Help
Pray that Joel will remain faithful to the Lord and that he will be a powerful witness to his family and community.
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