Mitil is quiet and shy, but she began opening up to me when the Georges went on furlough and I took over the Bible studies Leonda was having with her family on Sunday afternoons. Mitil has had a hard life. She married very young and has a large family. She told me stories of the tough times she and her siblings went through when they were younger, searching for food and fending for themselves.
Mitil is very open and eager to learn. Her husband Abew is also opening up but is still more reserved. I was excited when Abew volunteered to pray for the first time. Soon he was praying at every study. I was very encouraged by how open he seemed and how much he enjoyed singing, praying and listening to the readings. Then for a couple weeks last month he didn’t attend the studies. Mitil told me he would leave the house when he knew it was time for Bible study. I wondered what was going on. Justina and I began praying aloud, rebuking Satan’s attempts to convince Abew not to attend the studies, and also his attempts to distract the family and make it hard for them to focus. After skipping a couple of weeks, Abew started attending again but was more withdrawn. Later, a friend helped me better understand what was going on. She told me that Abew had used traditional medicine on a patient of mine. They had prayed to the god of sickness and had performed the ceremony where they remove a piece of wood from the sick person’s body, which they believe draws out the sickness. I was sad to hear that Abew was still performing these kinds of rituals even though we had talked about this during our studies, but it made sense now why he had withdrawn. The battle between good and evil here is intense. Abew’s heart is opening up to the truth, and Satan is trying his best to prevent it.
This past Sabbath, the Bible study was such a blessing. Abew was there along with Mitil and five of their children. The two older girls were happy to sing and join in the study. As we went around the circle and shared things we were thankful for, I was encouraged to hear their testimonies of how God had shown himself to them. Mitil shared that during the recent typhoons they had run out of food and dry wood for cooking fires. She prayed that God would stop the rain long enough for them to get some wood and food. That afternoon there was a break in the storm, and they were able to gather and cook food before it started raining again that night! Abew also shared a praise about how he had seen God working during the storm. When it was their daughter Rika’s turn, she shared how thankful she was that her parents are getting to know God. My heart was full of joy as I listened to their testimonies and saw the ways God is working in their family and increasing their faith.
Please join me in praying for Abew’s family. Pray that they will decide to fully commit their lives to God and that they won’t have any part in Satan or his tactics to distract and prevent the work that God is doing.