This very day! by Dick Eastman

At Every Home for Christ, we are committed to the Great Commission, believing that everyone should have the opportunity to hear the Gospel at least once. For nearly 70 years now, our global staff and thousands of volunteer missionaries have been delivering the Good News home to home in more than 200 nations. So far, they’ve reached over 1.7 BILLION homes.

Many of our global workers travel long distances in harsh conditions to share the Gospel in remote and difficult areas of their nations. I view these amazing men and women as modern-day heroes of the faith and believe you will too as you learn their stories. In this issue, we introduce you to a few of our faithful workers. You’ll be gripped by how God preserved the life of our Cambodia National Director from the Khmer Rouge and inspired by the risk of a Mobile Training Coordinator in Mexico. Also, you’ll get a glimpse of a unique pioneer missionary in Mozambique We want to dedicate this issue to our global workers who sacrifice so much for the sake of the Gospel. Please keep them in your prayers — we can’t do it without them!

I believed a lie. It’s a frightening idea — to completely dedicate yourself to something only to find out later that it wasn’t as it seemed. By the time you realize the truth, it’s too late,
and you’re forced to watch everything crumble around you. This is the situation Fatima Julho, a 35-year-old native of Mozambique, found herself trapped in. She was a devout follower of her tribal religion. She prayed, she recruited others to her faith, and she attacked and disgraced those who believed in Christ.

“Fatima’s religious life was viewed as the key to success and economic prosperity,” Godfrey Bhodyera, National Director of Every Home for Christ Mozambique, explained. “Many rich people in our country believe in that religion.” Fatima’s husband, Nhoca, was the village tax man, and the two had been active in their religion since childhood. Their community of believers was strong, and they were relatively prosperous. Everything was working until Fatima grew seriously ill.

Then things began to shift.

“She hoped and trusted that the many friends and allies she had recruited into her religion would stand with her,” Godfrey said. “However, things turned out the opposite way. Days went by, and none of them came to visit her.” Fatima’s illness grew and her community disappeared. She cried out to her gods, but they did not answer. She was trapped in bed and never had a visitor. Worst of all, Fatima’s husband refused to help her.

“I felt betrayed by my husband because he never made any effort to take me to the hospital or to any witch doctor. I started to believe he wanted to marry another wife after my death,” Fatima explained.

|Everything she had put her faith in — her religion, her community and even her husband — had abandoned her. She spent her days bedridden on a straw mat, wondering what would become of her soul. Finally, she began contemplating ways to take her own life. “I always told myself that, if I die, I want to come back as a ghost and torment my husband if he marries another woman,” Fatima said with a chuckle as she recounted her darkest days.

With no one to help her, she finally had to escape. The sickness made her look “thin as a matchstick,” and she could only wobble out of her hut. As she was assaulted by fresh air and sunshine for the first time in months, she saw something else that gave her hope — three EHC pioneer missionaries with a man named Karingo, a well-known and respected witch doctor from a nearby village. Normally, he was seen clothed in leopard skins and exotic necklaces. That day, however, he was dressed in plain clothes, much like a schoolteacher.
“She was shocked to hear that Karingo was coming to her with the EHC workers,” Godfrey explained. Karingo sat next to Fatima’s bed and lovingly told her, “I was a witch doctor, and you know it. Christ saved me, and other Christians love me, and the same will happen with you.”

Tears filled Fatima’s eyes. This is what she wanted, what she craved: a God who wouldn’t abandon her and a faith community that would rally around her instead of running away when she needed them most. “She asked the team to pray for her and hoped Jesus Christ would heal her,” Godfrey said.

The change in Fatima was instantly apparent. After the prayer, she was able to eat for the first time in weeks. “What surprised her most was that during the sunset of that day, as she was going back into the house, she didn’t wobble like before, but instead she walked energetically,” Godfrey said. When her husband came home, he could see and feel a difference in the house. It was clean, and she was dishing up some food for him. He didn’t know how to respond to the miracle that happened in his wife. He wasn’t the only one shocked; the next day, when the EHC workers came back to check on her, Fatima was sitting up in a chair and reading the Gospel of John booklet they’d given her. She looked at their shocked faces, smiled and simply said, “I want to be baptized.” The river where they normally baptized people was three miles away, and Fatima was still too weak to make such a journey. So they gathered outside, and many who’d once abandoned her now watched as the former witch doctor and the EHC workers baptized Fatima with buckets of water in the middle of the village.

They were witnesses to the healing in her body and witnesses to the miracle in the life of the witch doctor. The onlookers were amazed, but no one was more changed than Fatima. She once believed in a lie, but the truth had set her free.

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