“Prostitution, beer drinking, drunkenness, insults, fighting, uneducated children, malnutrition and witchcraft,” answered Rachel when asked to describe her village called 4Miles.
“Everyone is living without hope. I feel pity for the children here, all with dirty and ragged clothes, and drunk parents. When someone gets sick, they go to the witchdoctors, not realising that is not where they can find real healing, truth and everlasting life.” Rachel and her husband have been living in 4Miles for the last 20 years, living their lives in the best way they knew how, but not always following Jesus.
One day in 2015, an OM missionary visited Rachel. He told her about the discipleship programme at OM and how it could help her learn more about how to follow Jesus. Although Rachel had grown up in a Muslim family, she knew this was something she must do. The next few months she worked hard to save enough money to do the year-long discipleship and missions training.
“After doing discipleship and missions, I wanted to keep learning more, so I became a student at Tabitha Skills Development,” said Rachel. “Since joining Tabitha, my life has completely changed. At first my husband couldn’t understand the changes in me, but last year, he also decided to go through discipleship training! Now we can understand each other and be an example to our neighbours by loving and respecting each other.”
At Tabitha Skills Development, Rachel successfully completed the beginner, intermediate and advanced sewing training. She quickly became an encourager and example to the other students of how God can transform a person’s life if they allow Him to. She has since become a full-time missionary with Tabitha, focusing on reaching the women in 4Miles.
A new vision
“After joining Tabitha, God was always speaking to me about not leaving behind the ladies in my own community,” said Rachel. “My eyes were totally opened to God’s vision for my life. He was calling me to be like Tabitha in the Bible! I have been teaching my fellow women, just like I have been taught at Tabitha, and they follow everything I do. I used to be a bit difficult and had a very bad temper, but now God has softened my heart. I have even told all my family about Jesus, and they are no longer Muslim, but Jesus followers! Now that my eyes are open to the need for Jesus in my village, I will never stop teaching and preaching until God calls me onwards. The small one-room building that our family used to use as a tavern is now where the ladies meet for prayer, Bible study and skills training.
“God has transformed my outlook on life so much, that even if I sometimes go to sleep hungry or in pain, when I wake up I feel energised and ready for ministry.”
In addition to Rachel’s spiritual eyes being opened, God has also opened her physical eyes.
Rachel always struggled with being able to see properly and didn’t have a suitable pair of glasses to assist her vision. She could hardly read, thread a needle or do any intricate work. However, Rachel now testifies to the restoration God has given to her eyesight. “I now have no problem putting thread through a tiny needle, or reading in the evenings with dim candlelight,” she said. “God has done a miracle for me!”
The love of Jesus has the power to transform lives and communities. As Rachel continues to minister to her village of 4Miles, she dreams that one day when asked to describe her community, she will be able to say it is a ‘vibrant community of Jesus followers.’
Join Rachel in praying for God’s wisdom, strength and protection as she diligently ministers to her community. Pray for endurance to not give up as she often faces persecution.