A kidnapping and a death. How would God transform these tragedies for good?
Julia kicked at a rock in the street. No more school. With her seven younger siblings to provide for, her father could no longer pay her tuition. With nothing to do, Julia wandered the neighborhood, and soon took up alcohol. Then she started hanging around the military base, and became pregnant with one of the soldiers.
When her son was 2 years old, tragedy struck: Her boy was kidnapped. Her family wanted to organize a funeral, but Julia believed that somewhere out there, her son was still alive—perhaps with his father’s family.
One afternoon as Julia drank with friends near her home, a young man politely interrupted. “I have great news for you!”
“Good. If you promise to buy us two beers, we will give you all our attention,” Julia laughed.
“I’ll give you something much better than two beers!” the gentleman grinned. “See, I have some Bible study guides here and if you sign up and study all 26 lessons, you will earn a certificate and your very own Bible.”
The mention of the Bible stabbed Julia’s heart. “I might be interested in your program if you will pray for my lost son. He was kidnapped, and I haven’t seen him since 2016.”
The young man’s face filled with pity. “Let’s pray right now!” He bowed and offered a simple prayer for Julia’s boy, then asked if he could visit her home later to pray with her again.
“Yes,” Julia nodded. “I cannot read, but I think my dad might enjoy your lessons.” Julia headed for home with her heart strangely full. Someone would be praying for her to find her lost son.
The following day, when the Bible worker visited, Julia and her dad went through the first Bible study with him. Then the young man prayed for Julia again and gave her dad the next study guide. They agreed to have three Bible studies together each week.
After just three weeks of study, Julia’s dad attended the Seventh-day Adventist Church, amidst ridicule from Julia’s siblings. As he continued studying, however, his devotion to his new church grew, and Julia and her mom started attending with him. When both of her parents completed their lessons, the church organized a graduation program for them.
Then tragedy came again. Julia’s second son got sick and passed away after just three days. The family blamed his death on Julia’s and her parents’ new church, but the local congregation poured out their support. At the burial ceremony, the Seventh-day Adventist pastor preached a powerful sermon about the resurrection of dead. The pastor said that Jesus’ death and resurrection give us hope that those who believe in Him will come out of their graves when He returns.
That sermon changed the community’s perspective about Seventh-day Adventists. Julia’s parents were baptized the same day as the burial, and her whole family grew to love the church. When Train Them 2 Fish organized a massive Bible study crusade in Julia’s community, her family invited their neighbors to the studies. At the end of the campaign, Julia and five of her siblings were baptized along with many of their friends. No longer an alcohol addict, Julia had become a daughter of the Kingdom!
To make her joy complete, the Sabbath of her baptism Julia sat in church with her kidnapped son, who had been living at an Adventist-sponsored orphanage. It felt like a resurrection day—a foretaste of Heaven, when she would be with both her sons again!
Democratic Republic of Congo
Pastor Thomas Ongasa is the president of Train Them 2 Fish, a ministry focused on bringing the everlasting gospel to Central Africa.
How You Can Help
Pray for Julia as she shares her faith. Pray that Julia’s family will remain faithful to the message!
Pray for the Train Them 2 Fish team as they train Bible workers to reach the masses in Congo.
Give. For just $90 a month, you can sponsor a Congolese Bible worker. Mark your donations “Congo Evangelism” or “Congo Bible Workers” and send to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
To give securely online, visit: www.missionspro.org/donate
Thank you. Your gifts already support 24 Bible workers in Congo. As funds allow, we hope to hire another 10 solid Bible workers soon. Thank you so much for your support!