Woman comes to faith after 4 years of hearing the truth
The process of winning someone to Christ in Europe is typically a long one. The soil is hard and plowing it takes time. Missionaries serving here cling to Galations 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Ane, in Macedonia, is proof of that.
Ane likes coffee and music so when the Christian coffee house run by IMB missionaries hosted a concert four years ago, she came. She saw a tract sitting on a table and asked missionary Mandy Davis about it. Mandy was able to share the entire Gospel presentation with her. It was the first time she had ever heard the truth about Jesus. When Mandy asked if she’d like to study the Bible with her she said she would.
“It is very rare to meet someone for the first time and get all the way from ’nice to meet you’ to ‘yes, I would love to study the Bible with you’ so I was thrilled,” Mandy said.
But the rest of the process wouldn’t be so speedy. Melanie and Karen, Mandy’s teammates, began studying with her. Even though they both met with her a couple of times a week, she was hungry for even more.
These three women shared their lives with her over the next four years—sharing traditional recipes, cooking together, going to coffee, introducing her to the true Jesus of the Bible, feeding her insatiable hunger for the Word and rejoicing with her as she adopted her first child.
Ane continued to say, “I believe. I believe,” but she remained steeped in superstitions taught by the Orthodox Church including taking food to dead loved ones, sprinkling her new baby with holy water every night so she wouldn’t get sick and making sure she did good things to out-weigh the bad.
Mandy and the other girls continued to press the issue of being saved by faith through the grace of God, but it was a hard thing for Ane to comprehend.
“God’s grace was a completely new concept to her, knowing God on an intimate personal level was a new concept to her, being saved and forgiven once for always was a whole new concept for her,” Mandy said.
As these missionary women shared scripture and life with her, she began to question everything from her past. Eventually, after studying the book of Mark she asked if she could be baptized, a huge step for an Orthodox person who is baptized as a baby. She had come to understand that her salvation was through Jesus, not the Orthodox Church.
One day, sitting in her mom’s house, she looked at Mandy with tears in her eyes and said, “Before you, Karen and Melanie came here, I was like a lost sheep. My whole life, I wanted to know God. I believed He was there, but I was just wandering around looking in all of the wrong places trying to find Him. Then you came and told me the truth. You showed me He is my shepherd and my savior.”
Last May, she was baptized along with her husband. They are both growing, and she is praying for more and more people to know Jesus in her city of Ohrid. Recently she took Mandy with her to a friend’s home to help her share the Gospel. They spent four hours sharing with her friend and her family. On the way home, Ane looked at Mandy and said, “I just want more people to know. We have to pray for more and more people to be saved.”
It took four years for Ane to understand her need and Jesus’ provision. But thanks to Mandy and her teammates being patient and willing to persevere, now Ane will know an eternity with Him.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
To learn more about ministry opportunities in Ohrid, e-mail Brian Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Karen Pearce on Apr 19, 2012