Hardship and Grief
The eldest son of a poor family, Radu shouldered heavy responsibilities at a young age. He didn’t attend school, as his family saw no need for education. They did, however, need to eat. With six mouths to feed, Radu’s parents were desperate for extra income. When Radu was just 12 years old, he entered the workforce as a child laborer so he could help the family survive.
With little work in his hometown, Radu traveled to another region, one with rich natural resources, ample work opportunities and a blind eye to child labor. He stayed with a local family for nearly 13 years working as a carpenter, reaching adulthood in a stranger’s home.
Radu didn’t return home until he received news that his father was ill. His father didn’t survive, and with his death, the responsibility of the entire family fell on Radu.
In time, Radu married. Sadia, his wife, had already suffered much herself. When she was just 6 years old, her father became oppressed by demonic power that drove him to suicide, leaving her pregnant mother to provide for herself, Sadia and Sadia’s older sister.
Every day, Sadia’s mother went to the fields to work and provide food for her family. As the baby’s delivery approached, Saida’s older sister took responsibility for their care. She was only 12 years old, but they had to eat, so she traveled to another region and obtained a job in a hotel. Soon, Sadia joined her and began working as a housemaid. Together, the two girls earned income for their family, and so they survived.
After getting married, Sadia and Radu had the joy of welcoming a daughter and then a son into their family. They struggled but somehow survived, likely hoping to offer their children a better life without the tragedies of their own youth. Then life dealt more tragic blows; the loss, grief and hardship that both Sadia and Radu had experienced as children continued to pummel them.
Desperation Leads to Deliverance
When Radu’s son was only four years old, Radu’s mother got sick and passed away, bringing grief to Radu’s heart once more.
Meanwhile, Radu struggled to provide for his family. His home village had very limited resources and insufficient job opportunities. Many of Radu’s neighbors were forced to work abroad to feed their families, and once again Radu joined the ranks of migrant laborers.
Radu worked hard, scrimping and saving to send money home and meet his family’s needs. Their survival made his laborous work worth it. But what if his wife also succumbed to illness? Radu had followed several religions throughout his life. Had he not performed enough rituals? Had his devotion been lacking? Why must his life be full of such toil and grief?
Then Sadia’s older sister was killed in an accident. The shocking loss sent Sadia reeling. Drowning in depression, Sadia developed a severe, persistent headache.
“Villagers may mock me, but I will go to the church because it is for my wife’s better future,”
Hearing of his wife’s condition, Radu rushed home. He took Sadia to a witch doctor. Her grieving heart remained uncured. He took her to multiple hospitals, spending exorbitant money for treatment. Sadia’s head still throbbed. Was else could they do?
Radu had heard of a local church led by GFA pastor Haruto. He was known as a good person, always willing to help those in need. As a national missionary with a heart full of love for his people, Pastor Haruto had done much in the community. He had provided shelter in the aftermath of an earthquake. He had helped elderly people obtain their pensions. He had encouraged parents to send their children to school to receive an education. He was constantly offering practical solutions to real-life problems.
Pastor Haruto was also a man of faith, and people had been healed through his prayers. Radu didn’t like the Christian faith, but he was desperate not to add his wife’s name to the list of loved ones he had lost. Something stirred a desire to take Sadia to Pastor Haruto. His fellow villagers had mocked these believers. They considered Christianity a low-class religion. As a last resort, Radu did the unthinkable. “Villagers may mock me, but I will go to the church because it is for my wife’s better future,” Radu resolved.
Though aware of the couple’s hostility toward Christianity, Pastor Haruto welcomed them with open arms. He shared with them the love of Christ and His healing power. Pastor Haruto also prayed for Sadia, as he had for many others in need.
Perhaps it was something the pastor said, the way he cared, or something they felt during his prayer, but something drew the couple in. Radu and Sadia began attending Pastor Haruto’s church and the believers there continued to regularly pray for Sadia until she was completely healed from her severe headaches.
God continued to work in their lives as Radu and Sadia began to follow Him and grow in their faith. Pastor Haruto has been there every step of the way, guiding them in their new faith and pouring into their spiritual growth. With knowledge of truth and hope for the future, Radu and Sadia’s lives are being transformed, and it all started because of a caring pastor’s prayers and concern.
Invest in Life Change
Across Africa and Asia, many people suffer without knowledge of Christ’s love and miraculous power. GFA missionaries are dedicated to sharing His love and seeing Him change lives. This love is demonstrated through prayer, encouragement from God’s Word and practical help that meets everyday needs. Such love transforms lives and impacts eternity as people experience it for themselves and learn life-changing truth from God’s Word.
Your partnership enables brothers and sisters like Pastor Haruto to share Christ’s love with people who may have not even heard His name. Your partnership leads to life change.