In this Rejoice

"ln this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6


When Gianne's parents found out she had become a Christian they forbid her from attending church or bible study and constantly monitored her whereabouts. She desperately desired to be part of community with other believers, but also wanted to honor her parents so obeyed their request. Thirsty to know Jesus, Gianna* remained dedicated to reading her Bible and sought out every opportunity to meet with believers aside from church and Bible study. For months we prayed that God would change her parents heart (a December 2015 prayer request), and He did (thank you for your prayers)! Overtime Gianna* has been given more freedom, and is now she very active in our campus youth meetings and church. 


Two weeks ago during our prayer meeting she shared how God used her classmate John" to answer many questions she had about Jesus. As she watched John's" walk with God, she also became interested in a relationship with Jesus, and when he invited her into a community setting of believers, she experienced God's love and presence for the first time. Gianna" reminded the other student believers how influential their witness can be for nonbelievers and encouraged them to boldly share their faith with their classmates. Though Gianna* experienced trials when she first came to the Lord, God gave her perseverance and is now using her, a student reached by a student, to reach more students! 

-Desery

 

I will sing of his strength

"But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress." Psalm 59:16


"God has given me the gift of sleep, so normally I do not have trouble sleeping, but this night I was tossing and turning," Sara* explained. "I even prayed, 'God, please help me fall asleep.' Since I still could not fall to sleep, I decided to pray. At first I just prayed generally. I looked at my phone and noticed that just five minutes before, I had received a message from Danielle*, who I met through another student. I did not know her well so it was interesting that she got in touch with me. She asked if I was still awake. It was three in the morning. In that instant I understood, 'God, this is why you kept me awake.' So we began messaging back and forth. Danielle* explained to me some problems she was facing. Later, I met with her and shared [the Gospel] with her, but she was not ready to receive Jesus. But one time we met and she was ready. So I got to pray with her to receive Jesus as her Savior. Danielle" has struggled with depression and at one point was hospitalized. Last week I received a call from her and she told me that whenever she is depressed she reads her Bible. This is a miracle! God is changing her! Please pray for Danielle.* She is now in [the capital city] studying. Pray that she will have connection to other believers and grow stronger in her faith. Pray for healing. She needs mental healing. She is so sweet she calls me her spirit mother. But I am more like a midwife, I just helped her be born. Again. To new life."

Praise God for using my teammate Sara* to lead a hopeless, depressed student, Danielle'', to new life in Jesus, our true Refuge and strength. I was reunited with a dear friend I met three years ago, Delilah *, who feels called to share the Gospel in the east of this country! 
God used Sara* to lead Danielle* into a relationship with Jesus! 

"Jesus said to her, 'lam the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25 Two years ago when I met Dorothy*, she was on a quest for truth. Wounds and disappointment in Isalm drove her to devour books and internet articles from every religious and philosophical point of view. Gorged with information, Dorothy* was not very receptive when we shared the Gospel with her; instead, she was argumentative, disinterested, and bent on lecturing about other "truths" she had been discovering. Which is why I was shocked when she showed up at our college weekly meeting three weeks Gianna. and Maria. at our Easter service as a ago. Apparently, God has been result PraYers "'nue Pr'Y their imrents would allow them to come to using a believing family in her churth, hometown to share more about His truth and their witness has so deeply impacted her that she has considered following Jesus! This Sunday when she attended our Easter service she was beaming with joy during worship and very engaged during the message in which she was challenged with Jesus' question "Do you believe this?" Let us pray that Dorothy* would answer as Martha did in John 11:26, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." 
Please join Delilah. as she prays about spending her summer serving refugees! 

December Update

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"You were a mistake and you are not wanted" were messages Zenae grew up hearing from her parents. Home life for her was not a safe, loving environment, but rather a place of deep hurt and pain. All this difficulty, however, led Zena. on a search for love, and one year ago she found Jesus! Three weeks ago she was baptized, and came up from the water beaming with joy. Later that day her parents found out that she became a believer and threatened her life, so she is now staying with friends from church. This is very typical in lives of new believers here - soon after they give their lives to Jesus, and especially after they are baptized, harsh seasons of persecution follow.

On Christmas Eve, we ate dinner together, Will You Please intercede with me for shared our testimonies, and sang Christmas Zeta*? Please pray that Jesus would be praise. Many students are the only believers her Wonderful Counselor and Prince of in their family so it was an special time to Peace during this time. Pray her faith in celebrate our Savior's birth together. Christ would be strengthened through
this struggle and that she would be secure in her identity as a daughter of the King.