In celebration of Women’s History month, we want to introduce you to some women who are making history right now within Reconciled World. Rose* is a team leader with the TCT program. We asked her to share her story.
I was born in a family that practiced ancestor worship. My father died in 1967. My mother wasn’t able to provide for our family on her own, so she sent me to an orphanage when I was ten years old. There I heard the name of Jesus for the first time. Every night I studied the Word of God with other older orphans. At the age of fourteen I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
At the orphanage, I had the chance to go to school and to study the Bible. I learnt to rely on the power and grace of God in following the strict rules of the orphanage. God developed in me a desire to serve Him. At the age of 16, I was allowed to teach Sunday school for little children. I passed on to these children all that God had taught me over the years. I remember in 1973, we learnt a beautiful song and there was a verse that touched my heart. It said, ‘Oh Lord, you have put in my heart a burden for the souls of those around me…’ Since that time, I had a dream that after I finished high school I would go to Bible College and marry an evangelist in order to serve God by proclaiming the Good News to people.
In 1975, I married an evangelist who was assigned to a church in the highland area. Tough times started to rise. The new government prohibited us from proclaiming the Gospel and they forced us to go back to our birthplace. We prayed and asked God for His will in this situation. God revealed his will through the brothers who used to live with us in the orphanage. They said that we shouldn’t go back because there were a lot of pastors and evangelists there already but there was none here. “Who is going to teach us and our children the way of God?” they asked. We knew this was the will of God for us, so instead of moving back to the city where I came from, we moved up to the mountain area where my husband came from.
We have 6 children and they grew up in the love of God. From 1975 – 2005, my husband and I served God with all kind of challenges but by the grace of God we worked hard to bring up our children and proclaimed the Gospel to people around us. At the same time, we trained others and appointed these faithful people to take care of the churches we planted. We taught people the ways of God and helped them to get rid of the superstitious practices of the area. People started to change according to the Word of God. They gave up drinking alcohol, smoking, and superstition. Because of that we were opposed by the government. They arrested my husband and other brothers who served the Lord with us.
From 1990 to 1993, while my husband was in prison, I continued to meet with other believers to worship God and teach the Bible to our congregations. We encouraged each other to carry out the work without backing down even though nine of our brothers had been arrested, including my husband. Every month, we got together to pray and fellowship. No one was shaken or disheartened. We gave generously to look after our loved one in prison.
In 1993, seeing the generosity of the believers in caring for those in prison, the government created lots problems for us. They accused us of raising funds illegally. They raided our homes, seizing any document related to the money. We were questioned for hours and required to write reports for what we had done. In the end they fined us about $10,000 USD. Even though, they tried to harass and threaten us, we still pressed on.
We are thankful to God that in 2005, we connected with the TCT program through a pastor in our denomination. Through the first training, God showed us that we need to grow in four areas, not just focus on spiritual only as before. We came to know that Jesus grew in four areas – Spiritual, Physical, Social and Wisdom. This is our model of development. God brought this training to our highland so that the people here can develop wholistically. We decided to partner with this program because we knew that this was God’s will for us. In order to get this training to all the churches in the areas, leaders of the TCT program asked us to choose some people to be trained to become trainers. The group chose me.
It has been 10 years since I joined the program. I was appointed to be the leader in the highland region. As I have taught others, I myself have also grown and developed spiritually, physically, socially and in wisdom. I love God more day by day. I have good relationships with non-believers, especially the government.
I am motivated to serve God more.
I want to devote the rest of my life to bring changes, according to the will of God, to our communities. This is also the goal of TCT program–to point people to God, teaching them to live God’s way according to the Scripture. The Lord is faithful, He has transformed our communities wholistically as we went out to show His love to others. We built roads to farming areas or markets so people no longer have to carry crops on their backs. We built roads to other villages so that people can visit their families or share the Gospel. There are no more hungry people or unstable houses because people share what they have and help each other, especially those who are persecuted because of their faith. All children go to school. Many of them now graduate from university or college. Even the government has changed the way it looks at us, and now often praises the church for its good work. God’s name is glorified.
I want everyone to have a devoted heart for God, serving Him and other people, looking forward to the joy of eternal life and the reward on the day Jesus returns.
*Names changed for security reasons.