“I am a prison minister having services every weekend at three immigration detention centers. Thank you for sending me as many booklets as possible because the detainees are not the same every week, as we have new ones arriving. Thanks. God bless!”
-Nancy M., Texas, U.S.A.
"I have been utilizing WMP booklets while working with Syrian refugees and Kurdish orphans in Northern Iraq and doing Bible studies with tea for refugee women. I have been sharing your Scripture materials since 1980."
(Attached to an order for Arabic Scripture booklets...)
“My mother used to share WMP Scripture booklets until she passed two years ago. I promised her I would pass out whatever booklets she had when she died. I know that everyone hears about the Lord differently and if this can help people come to the Lord, I will do what I can to further the Kingdom. I will be handing them out when providing meals to the homeless at a day shelter. Thank you for providing them for me.” -Jan V., FL, U.S.A.
“Hello. My name is Hermina and I am from a Christian Fellowship in Romania. I am 35 years old. I have been praying for children and young people in my country to find God through Jesus Christ. I have seen a lot of teenagers with drug and alcohol addictions and I want to do something more for them. Sometimes talking to them is not enough. A brother from my fellowship found one of your booklets (How to Know God) on a bus, and I knew this was a good way to tell them so much more about God and about His salvation. Most of them have never heard the fact that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. God bless you and thank you very much.”
-Hermina R., Romania
“On behalf of Journey Church, I want to thank you for sending a supply of How to Know God booklets. I will use them in the connections ministry at our church which takes a welcome packet to all new visitors. This packet includes our schedule of ministries within the church, homemade cookies, and will now include the How to Know God booklets. Again, thanks so much as we reach out to our community."
-Ron D., WA, U.S.A.
She would put on a brave face every morning as she would get up everyday very early to go and buy bread-rolls in bulk for resale. Although pain and timidity were consuming her heart, she would always wear a wide smile to make sure she attracts her customers and sell them bread. It was this business that helped her pay school fees for her children and sustain her family. The miracle of being alive was no longer meaning anything to her. By merely looking at how she conducts herself, one would want to know more about that woman. Who is she? Where is she from? Many questions would run up and down one’s mind in the speed of a flash. We learned that her name was Isabela. She was fifty six years old and a mother of five.
Isabela survives on buying bread in bulk for resale. This is what she does on full time basis. In Luanda, this kind of job is done by many and they sell on street corners. Some will buy and also make burgers for resale as well. This is due to high rates of unemployment; therefore many people survive on these informal trade activities.
The biting economic hardships require these stringent activities to make sure you have food on the table. The detrimental effects of the economic challenges are felt by the weaker and vulnerable members of the society who are always on the receiving end of the cancerous blows of poverty that have kept many in its jaws.
The saddest part of it comes when the family is led by a woman. This leads to extreme pain, suffering and afflictions. Most women in Angola do not have any skills that can generate income for them as the effects of the civil war are still being felt to this day. They could not receive formal education during the civil war as it was also very dangerous for the girl child to walk alone due to high cases of rape that were going unabated.
She was given in marriage at a tender age. This was a norm in their culture for a girl child as it was seen as a waste of resources to educate a girl child. The families felt since the girl child would be getting married and going to another family there was no need to educate her. This meant that she was supposed to marry at a tender age so that she would not continue consuming her family’s resources. This philosophy is a common trend in many areas in the nation of Angola. Many people give their girl children in marriage at a tender age and this has gone for years unabated although the new president has declared war on such practices.
After she had married, she was fortunate enough to marry a good husband who respected her according to her. Although her husband was twenty-five years older than she was, he would never abuse her and he would show her so much love and affection regardless of the age-gap. They were a happy couple after all and they managed to have their children. They later moved to Luanda where her husband got a job as a construction worker. They stayed in Luanda during the height of the civil war where they managed to bear more children. They had three children and her husband became very active in politics supporting the UNITA rebels. He received supplies for the rebels and carried them to their hiding places. Sadly, one day the government soldiers learned about his activities.
“It was in a calm evening and we were cooking outside and our children were playing inside the house when an army truck full of soldiers came to the house where we were renting. Just by seeing that we knew, it was game-over. My husband never tried to escape but only said, “Be strong and look after our kids. Maybe we will meet again or maybe not.” I always remember those words clearly. Before we could do anything, the soldiers were already ransacking our house looking for anything that belonged to the UNITA rebels but they could not find anything. They beat my husband with iron-bars while I watched in great anguish but sadly, there was nothing I could do. They were beating to kill. My husband was screaming in pain and they were unrelenting. They continued to torture him and when he passed out, they would light a candle and burn his ear lobes. When he awakened, they would start again. I stood there screaming as the soldiers continued to make an example of my husband for the people who had gathered around our house. One soldier came close to me and said, “Get inside the house and lock yourself in or we will rape and torture you in the same way.” As Isabela was explaining the ordeal of that fateful night, tears streamed from her eyes.
As she stepped into her house, Isabela knew that she would be separated from her husband for life. After some time, the noise outside had died down and she heard the sound of the army-truck leaving. She was courageous enough step outside to help her husband, only to learn that they had taken him away. She knew that she was never going to see her husband again and that she had to be strong for her children. It was as if a dark cloud had covered her life and she would not know where to start as the breadwinner had been taken away. This was the beginning of a new era in her life and she thought that perhaps one day he would come but sadly, he would not. Rafael had gone with the soldiers to an unknown destination. They were going to do horrific things to him in order to extract the information they wanted.
Days went buy but there was no sign of him or even a word about his death. Isabela realized that it was time to begin life as a widow. However, many people encouraged her to wait for her husband because they believed he could have been in prison with the hope of being released at the end of the war.
She started her bread business to sustain the family while her husband was away. The war ended in 2002, and alas, the prisoners of war were released under Presidential amnesty but sadly, Rafael was nowhere to be found. This really meant that there was indeed no sign of him or his remains. This wonderful husband and family hero was gone.
After concluding that she was not going to see her husband again, Isabela opted to move on with her life and try to get married again. She got a new man in her life and had a son with him but the man was an abusive drug addict and an alcoholic. She has many scars from the regular, physical abuse that she endured. The abuse became so bad that Isabela and her children walked away.
She later decided to be involved with another man after leaving the abusive one. This resulted in her staying with a certain pensioner who was well established financially and a widower. The new man however, did not want her kids in his house therefore; he rented a house for the children to stay on their own although he was buying everything for them. He would provide groceries and all the basic needs and everything else including their education. Isabela was staying with him as his wife and it was her first time in life to stay in such a beautiful and big house. The retired government official would do everything for her and treated her in a special way. She gave birth to yet another son with the pensioner and all was going well until one fateful morning.
One Sunday morning while he was taking a shower, he collapsed and died on the spot. An ambulance was called but it was too late. He had already passed. This marked the beginning of yet another torrid moment in Isabela’s life. The family of the man, his children who were already grown up and some staying in Portugal, flew to Luanda only to accuse Isabela of killing their father so that she could take over his estate. Isabela was told to pack her things and leave the house. Since she was not legally married to the man, she did not have any room to argue. They also barred her from attending the funeral because they were calling her a witch and all sorts of names. No one appreciated how she had taken care of the old man. Everything was gone and she was supposed to go back to selling bread on the streets. She taught her adolescent children to do the same in order to increase the family income.
As she looked into her life, she felt a great emptiness. She had time to open up and pour out her heart to our National Director Sara, who had gone to share the Gospel with her. The Scripture booklet, ‘Help from Above’ caught Isabela’s attention. As Sara was telling her what was in the Scripture booklet, she developed more interest and asked if she could have various pieces of literature to read at home with her children. Sara gladly gave her the literature. The following morning she called Sara and told her she wanted to meet her.
“I have wandered in my life for so long and I believe it’s now time to leave all my life and my challenges in the hands of the LORD. I need Jesus and so does my household,” Isabela said these words when she saw Sara the following day. She really wanted the LORD in her life and that of her children. It was time for a rebirth in her household. Isabela accepted Christ as her LORD and personal Savior and she and her family have since joined a Christ Group that is conducted at the EHC Office in Luanda.
She says that since she accepted Christ, a heavy stone has been removed from her heart and she now feels so much hope in all the aspects of her life.
-Sara A., Angola, Africa
“I’m a teacher who has taken the spreading of the gospel as my adherent passion. I travel to schools across the country preaching the Gospel and distributing Scripture booklets, as I have been doing for the past three years. I visit other organizations, like hospitals, churches, and market places to preach and distribute the booklets. People use them as study guides and love them!
I also conduct follow-up efforts to ensure that the recipients are learning and applying the Scriptures to their lives. Feedback from those who receive copies are then channeled to you after the follow-up.
Five years ago, when I was arranging my deceased parents’ books, I came across one of your booklets entitled ‘My Bible Reading Book, volumes one and two’, in their wardrobe. In fact, I have become a new person after reading those two booklets. I want all to know and get what I have now. Thank you.”
-Richmond G., Ghana, Africa
The wind blew and it felt so humid and hot. He was swimming deep down in his thoughts as he was trying to recall what had happened in the previous day. Ever since he got the job at the sugar plantation in Marromeu, Tinos has never seen what he does with his earnings. After receiving his salary he would go straight to drink and squander all the money.
The previous day had started by friends inviting him to just pass through the bar and get just one pint each before they go home. However, it ended being a drinking spree that led into the wee hours of the following morning. As he had looked into his pockets the following morning he had seen his pockets empty. “What really happened to my money?” he asked himself.
Tinos’ life had been marred with addiction to alcohol. Although he is a non-smoker, alcohol had been his water. Each and every day would be a dear opportunity to drink again and enjoying himself but certainly the following morning will be pain and more pain. This had been the trend for long and he had been in that position for years. Family life had been badly severed with chaos, poverty, hunger and misery being the silhouette of his family. The fighting with his wife was the order of the day and his children were all malnourished.
The alcohol addiction is a common factor that affects many people in the nation of Mozambique. The law doesn’t prohibit the abuse of alcohol and in fact it is viewed as an essential part of the diet in the Mozambican culture. When you go to other countries the laws do not permit the consumption of alcohol in undesignated areas but sadly in Mozambique it is allowed to drink alcohol anytime and anywhere. This has influenced people to be alcohol addicts and in both urban and rural, both males and females are seen consuming alcohol in excess. This therefore has led to the youths to emulate and they believe the abuse of alcohol is a painkiller for forgetting their troubles and tribulations.
The life at Tinos’ home was really messy and pejorative. Just by merely looking at what his household looked like, it was a clear panorama of how misery looks like. The pain the kids were going through was written all over their faces and poverty there was so loud that we couldn’t quantify the decibels of noise it was making. We couldn’t even talk about school because it was quite obvious that the pain the kids were going through at home meant that there wasn’t any extra money that would be used in investing in their education.
As Tinos sat down under a big mango tree at his home, he lifted up his eyes and saw a team of visitors coming to his house. Grappled by fear as he felt that he had done something wrong the previous night at the Bar, he looked at them with feeble eyes. He felt that probably he was in another problem which could be bigger than what he would ever imagine. Looking at the team without any energy in his body, his eyes were clearly saying that, “I am here and vulnerable and defeated already.” To his surprise, the strangers were all smiles when they were looking at him. Smiles are contagious always, as he saw the smiles on the team’s faces, his face quickly brightened up and he also had a smile on his face.
The team was comprised of EHC workers who were going home to home sharing about Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a “one treatment for all”. As the team shared the Gospel with Tinos, his heart was brought closer to them and he opened up about his personal life. He started to narrate about how he started drinking at a tender age. He felt his life had been so demolished that it could not be repaired anymore. The time wasted was so much that it couldn’t be repaid. He felt like he was drowning in the pool of humongous sorrow that would just suffocate him to death. All hope was gone and there wasn’t any ray of light left in his heart. Darkness had engulfed every part of his life and that of his family.
As they shared various pieces of literature with him and explained how Jesus could give him New Life, a glimpse of hope was evident in his eyes. He wanted to hear more about this Jesus who is the giver of hope and life. He wanted to hear more on how other Christians would accept someone they knew as a drunkard into the church. His concerns were so significant and evidently affecting him. “Jesus loves you the way you are. You just need to give him all the pieces of your broken life and he will meant them and restore your life to the factory settings. You will be able to live again the life that the LORD has always wanted you to have,” Tiago one of the team members explained to him.
“I want Jesus to come and cure me from alcohol addiction and restore my family. Please can you wait for my wife to come back she has gone to fetch firewood so I also want her to hear the Gospel you are sharing. I want my family to be happy again,” Tinos said with tears pooling up in his eyes.
As the team waited for his wife to come back they continued to share more words of Hope in Christ with him and he was evidently receiving his transformation and a new vessel of Christ was being birthed in him. As they finished praying for Tiago, it wasn’t before his wife also arrived and only to find glad tidings awaiting her at home. The family managed to have their deliverance.
Tinos opened the doors of his home to have a Christ Group planted at his home and he has developed so much passion for the Gospel because of the BFAM lessons that he is receiving together with his wife. One of Tinos’ friends Fanuel, is also attending the Christ Group although some of his friends have not yet accepted the Gospel.
When asked if there were any significant changes at their home, Margarita, Tinos’ wife said,” I used to be a married widow. I was married but living as a widow. Jesus gave me back my husband. Even if we don’t have money at our home these days, we are a happy family because every day my husband arrives back home on time. Jesus is indeed my best friend who took all my worries away.”
Tinos says he can’t continue to associate himself with his old friends who are still drinking because he is afraid that they might influence him again to go back into drinking. “I am not strong enough yet to resist beer temptation so I don’t want to be tempted that is the reason why I am avoiding them,” Tinos said with a chuckle.
-Godfrey B., Mozambique, Africa
David G. is a 58-year-old man who plays his saxophone on the streets five days a week. He also uses WMP Scripture booklets to minister to those who hear him play. Many come to him crying and asking for help. He prays with approximately 30 people each day.
“Dearest Kindred Spirit, Perhaps you have never spent an entire evening of emptiness starkly staring at the ceiling of a chilly cell block. Perhaps that ceiling never stared right back, terrorizing you until you were driven to cower in shameful fear beneath a haggardly thin blanket. And perhaps, still, that blanket wasn’t enough to muffle the ceiling’s scornful curses at you for every trespass you ever committed; and not just those for which you are currently sentenced. Then you can’t possibly know the level of mercy and grace felt when Chaplain Mike shares the inspirational and hope-filled literature which you have so lovingly gifted our prison chapel. Bless you and thank you for your kindness.”
-Stephen L., Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Inspiring & Insightful articles from WMP Staff, Ambassador Network Members, & Friends