Marilene, Eva, and Paulo
My co-worker Lynell and I had been praying for God to put us in contact with those whom he is drawing to Himself. In answer to this, as Lynell was sitting at the mechanic’s shop waiting for the car to be fixed, the lady next to her asked her why she was in Brazil. When Lynell told her that she teaches the Bible, Marilene said, “My grandchildren need to know the Bible! Can you come teach them?” So, Lynell started teaching her 10-year-old granddaughters the Bible. However, Lynell suspected that Marilene herself did not understand God’s message. Therefore, she offered to Marlene that I could come do a Bible study with her while Lynell was teaching the girls.
Over the weeks that followed, the Lord, thorough the use of “the Lamb” with the children and “The Story of Hope” with Marilene, chipped away at misunderstandings of sin and the way of salvation. On the day that we studied the crucifixion, Marilene got teary-eyed as she finally understood what Christ had done for her. She said, “And we don’t even thank Him!” So, I invited her to thank Him for dying in her place, and she did. Near the end of the study I said to her, “Marilene, at the beginning of the study, you told me that the way to be accepted by God is to accept and obey his laws.” She replied, “Yes, that's the way. No! Wait! Jesus already paid for my sins!”
Praise the Lord for his work in hearts!
I (Laura) had been asking the Lord to put me in contact with people whom He was drawing to Himself. He answered this prayer in quite a direct way when Eva introduced herself and asked me to do a Bible study with her. (I’m usually the one doing the asking). She had heard that I was doing a Bible study with her daughter-in-law Irina and thought that maybe I could help her find what she was looking for. We started to study “The Story of Hope” and she was so eager that we studied two mornings a week. Here’s the story in her words:
Before, I lived with great uncertainty and doubts. I was searching for something, because I had an emptiness inside of me. I was really lost. I was anxious and was afraid of death, even though I was attending church and doing a Bible study with a Jehovah’s Witness.
When I found out that my daughter-in-law was doing a Bible study, I was immediately interested. I went to meet Laura and I asked her to do a Bible study with me. That’s what I had been looking for! From the Bible I learned that I could not earn God’s acceptance. I was a sinner. But I also learned that Christ, who never sinned, died for my sins. We must trust in Him, because He did everything for us. So, my life changed. Now I live a new life in Christ Jesus. I changed from water to wine. Now I rest in the Lord, and I want to share this with others.
Praise the Lord for drawing people to Himself, and letting us be in on the process!
One morning as I went to Eva’s house to drop some things off, her son Paulo was there, visiting her while on a business trip. He invited me to sit down and he started talking. Eva had told him that I was doing a Bible study with her and had showed him her copy of “The Story of Hope”. Shortly into the conversation he volunteered that he was a sinner, and I saw tears in his eyes. He indeed needed hope, and soon, as he was returning to his home the following day.
With his mother’s copy of “The Story of Hope,” I told the story of the creation and the fall. I then went over the redemptive stories of God’s provision of animal-skin tunics for Adam and Eve, God’s provision of a ram for Isaac, and the provision of the death of lambs in place of the firstborn sons on the night of Passover. I explained God’s acceptance of the sacrifice of an innocent animal in the place of the guilty sinner at the Tabernacle. I told about Jesus’ birth in a stable and John the Baptist’s proclamation, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
Then we came to the cross. After I finished the explanation of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension he said, “Now I understand! No one ever told me before why Jesus had to die. He is our sacrifice Lamb!” Now the tears really flowed as he thanked Christ for being his sacrifice Lamb.