Bought with a Price
Liza’s dowry keeps her obedient to a despotic husband. Then she glimpses Jesus and experiences love.
Liza was only 13 years old when her parents gave her to be married to Nano. In keeping with tribal custom, Nano’s parents gave a dowry to Liza’s parents to ensure that she would obey whatever her husband commanded.
They had all been atheists until the Roman Catholics entered the village and converted them. Still, religion didn’t have much importance in their lives. The children came quickly, one after the other. Sometimes the family had food to eat, and sometimes nothing, but Liza continued in her duties as wife and mother without complaint. She helped harvest the neighbors’ corn even when she was pregnant just to earn money to buy food for her children. Nano, a drunk, neglected his duty as a father. Liza never reproached him. She knew she didn’t have freedom to do so, because her husband’s family had bought her.
By the time Liza had five children, her life had become a miserable round of agonizing toil. “God,” she cried, “I know You are there. Please give me strength and help me find a part time job to feed my hungry children.”
One day Liza heard of a new pastor in town, and the people said he intended to build a church. Although she did feel curious about the new pastor’s ideas, she didn’t really have time to investigate. Worshipping seemed like a waste of time that could be used to earn food. Still, the new pastor’s wife, Yanyan, befriended Liza and kept inviting her to church on Saturday. Time and again, Liza declined. With all her refusals, Liza could not understand why Yanyan kept asking her to come and worship! Finally, one Sabbath, she went to the new church with her five children. She felt conspicuous when the deacons took up the offering; she didn’t have even one cent to put in. Yet the people did not judge her. They treated her with kindness and love. Liza cried and cried at how willingly these people accepted her. For the first time, she felt loved and wanted.
After her experience at church, Liza agreed to study with Pastor Temtem—her first time to ever look on the words of Scripture. At first, she felt uncomfortable to have him come to her hut. Most people didn’t like visiting and having to deal with her drunken husband, but Pastor Temtem and his assistants came anyway. They spoke warmly of God’s love each time they entered. As time went on, Liza relaxed. God was with these ministers.
After many Bible studies, Liza decided to receive baptism. Now she worships every Sabbath despite her husband’s anger. He has been drinking more, and when he is drunk he beats her in front of the children. “Do not enter that religion,” he snarls, “or else I will kill you.”
Liza thanks the Lord for the trials, and prays that God will help her to be brave and stand for the truth. She knows that her husband is not the only one who has bought her, for Jesus has bought her with a much more precious price. Yanyan continues to visit and encourage Liza not to give up on the salvation she has received. Matthew 11:28 has become very precious to Liza.
Pastor Temtem keeps speaking about the Lord to Nano. Someday soon, Liza prays that God will open her husband’s eyes so that he will accept Jesus into his heart. One day, she hopes to worship as a family. For now, she knows that God never forsakes those who most need Him.
Temtem Piedraverde is a Bible worker in South Cotabato on Mindanao Island, Philippines.
How You Can Help
Pray for Liza to remain strong despite her extreme difficulties. Pray for her husband to be born again!
Pray for the personal evangelistic efforts of Temtem and his wife Yanyan.
Give to help Temtem and Yanyan preach the gospel in South Cotabato by sending your donation marked “Philippine evangelism” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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