We put things in our pockets every day without thinking: loose change, business cards, gum wrappers. We never consider that an item we drop in might have a transformative effect on our lives, but that was the case for Hakiziyaremye Vianney. Vianney was selling goats and sheep in Rwanda’s crowded Rugarama street market when he noticed a sudden burst of activity. People were fighting to receive booklets from a group of EHC evangelists. Curious, Vianney took one and glanced at it before absentmindedly slipping it into his pocket.
“He was a drunkard and was beating his wife every day,” says Ananie Bagaragaza, the EHC National Director of Rwanda. “He wasn’t interested in hearing the Gospel.” When Vianney came home that night, he emptied his pockets and didn’t even notice the gospel booklet, The Way to God, drop onto the table. Propping up his feet to relax, he asked his wife, Everyne, to bring him a glass of water. When Everyne didn’t respond, he looked up, irritated that he had been ignored. To his surprise, she was coming toward him slowly, carrying a glass of water in one hand and reading the gospel booklet with the other. “The content of the whole booklet pleased her,” Ananie says, “but the message on page 43, where it said Jesus is the only way to God, deeply penetrated her heart.” Annoyed that a piece of paper had stolen Everyne’s attention from him, Vianney stormed off to a bar. When he returned hours later, Everyne was still reading the gospel booklet. At that point, Vianney’s annoyance turned to curiosity, and he asked to read the booklet for himself. “After reading, I thought immediately of God and my death,” Vianney says. “That night, I had a dream.” In Vianney’s dream, he was on the verge of death and surrounded by a crowd of people. With cruel laughter, they told him that, because he had rejected Jesus, it was too late for him to receive salvation. Desperation and regret washed over Vianney. Suddenly, a tall, strong man emerged from the crowd and had compassion on him. This man told Vianney that it wasn’t too late.
When Vianney shared his dream with Everyne the next morning, she was thankful that God had used it to reach her husband. They immediately went to a Christian church near their village, and the pastor prayed with them. The couple accepted Christ, and it wasn’t long before their entire family of eight was saved. “The amazing thing is that they were baptized together,” says Ananie. “On Christmas Eve, they were both baptized.”
Today, Vianney and Everyne’s marriage is transformed. They are being discipled by a pastor, and they regularly volunteer in EHC home-to-home evangelism. Everywhere Vianney goes, he carries a pocketful of gospel booklets to share with others whenever he has the chance.
“Now, I and all my family are baptized and have Jesus as our Savior,” Vianney says. “It is all because of a gospel booklet. Praise God!”
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This article was taken from their webpage with permission.
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