Two stories of persevering through adversity
Posted on: 11th May 2023
Here are two stories of believers moving forward in faith, often in incredibly trying circumstances. The first is from CMS missionary Bruce Hayes in Nepal; the second from CMS missionary Amanda Jacobson in Cambodia.
As told by Bruce Hayes in Nepal
I have been greatly privileged to share in a mentoring relationship with Mohit since 2021. We were introduced by a mutual friend. Mohit had been prayerfully looking for a mentor for seven years having lost his previous mentor. He says, “I wanted someone who really understood the value of mentoring and would walk along with me in difficult times of my life and also make me accountable.”
Mohit is a well- trained Christian leader (CMS Australia has supported his three-year Masters of Divinity study through the Mission Support Fund) involved in training leaders for church ministry including for women and supporting Christian marriages. He is also a leader in his own church.
Recently, we have walked together through challenging times in his family. Mohit’s eldest daughter went through an emotional breakdown last year. My medical background helped as I was able to talk with her. Today she has completely recovered and is happy, and I feel blessed to have stood with him. As well, Mohit’s wife’s sister and father were diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, his sister-in-law passed away and his father-in-law is under palliative care. “Doctor Bruce’s warm care and availability whenever I want to talk to him has helped me and my family to go through this difficult time.” said Mohit.
I pray that we can continue to encourage one another in our walks of faith. Mohit continues to grapple and grow with what it means to be a good husband and father, how to have work-life balance and trust God for his financial needs to support his family, especially in education. He has led his organisation through an important strategic review to set future direction. As he encounters new and difficult challenges, I see him trusting in God for wisdom and guidance. Mohit says, “I feel very comfortable to share my life and ministry with Bruce.” It has been a great blessing to pray together, share our concerns and needs and see God’s answers and provision.
As told by Amanda Jacobson in Cambodia
Rachany’s laugh fills the small tin shed we’re sitting in; it spills out into the little laneway and off into the night. She’s telling me about how she first came to know Jesus, and her black eyes sparkle with mischief, “My family were very poor. I didn’t have a father and I was the eldest, so when I was about 10, I went to church to get free rice for us to eat. I had no plan to believe, I just kept going because we needed food.” But then she turns serious, “Then one night, when I was about 16, I had a dream, I dreamed that my family were in real danger, and Jesus came and saved us. I knew when I woke up that Jesus was the only God who could help us, so from then until now I’ve trusted him with my life.”
I want them to know about Jesus and to see how he’s helped me, and to know that he can help them too.”
“When my husband died of Covid, our neighbours were frightened of us, and our friends shunned us. The only people who came to visit were my husband’s creditors. We had no money—the bank was taking our home and I felt alone—it was a hard time for me. But I know Jesus has never left me. Whenever we need money for the girls to go to school, or food to eat, Jesus provides what we need. He has been so good to us. I thank him every day for allowing all this to happen, it’s made me stronger and helped me to trust him more. I pray every day that the people in my village will see how good Jesus is.”
“My husband was very clever—he read the Bible and knew how to preach, but I never went to school, so I used to think I couldn’t serve God. Now, I’ve joined a Bible study group and I’m encouraging the youth from our village to join in too.”
Her black eyes sparkle again as she laughs, “Oh sister, I don’t remember all the Bible verses, but I remember the stories, and I know how God has helped me. When I look at the youth in our village, I see them struggling, and without hope. I want them to know about Jesus and to see how he’s helped me, and to know that he can help them too.”
Pray that God would enable Mohit, and Rachany to continue to trust and follow, Jesus no matter what they are facing in their daily lives.