IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
By Dr. Michael Grubbs
By Dr. Michael Grubbs
Paradigm Shift in Missions par·a·digm (pàr¹e-dìm´, -dîm´) noun 1 An example that serves as a pattern or model. Matthew 28:18-20: 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (The Great Commission) The Christian faith, I submit, is intrinsically missionary. Christianity is missionary by its very nature, or it denies its [Read More]
There is one very important element to our prayers which needs to be identified. What is the primary focus of our prayers or what should we pray for? Let’s look at some Scripture to help in identifying what we should be praying for.
I’m a Mama Bear of eight kids here, two in heaven, six grand-children (plus one on the way) and a wife to my hubby Dan, of 37 years. I’m in my upper 50s, but I still feel young at heart. My body often reminds me that I’m not so young anymore, but when those aches and pains hit, I’m reminded that this world is not my home. One day, I’ll have a body that is free from pain and suffering where I’ll joyfully live in my eternal home with my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, along with many of my dear family and friends who have also trusted Christ to be their Savior.
I was raised with a Catholic upbringing by my parents who were very devoted to the Catholic Church and its teachings. I never spent too much time reading the Bible on my own. I went to Catholic mass, which most of the time I couldn’t wait to be over so I could just go home and resume my regular routines; that is, to just go about living my everyday life. Church was more like a duty, or a checkmark off the list of doing good, and then I did what I wanted to outside of church.
Though my father had a loving side, he also had wild temper at times. He had strict punishments for my siblings and I; we were certainly taught to tell the truth and respect authority. I, too, struggled with anger issues, beginning in my teen years. I was a quiet and shy teen, but I always had a friend or two by my side. In the eighth grade, I was determined to have more friends and a boyfriend and figured it meant I would have to do what it takes to join the popular crowd. And then, my older sister Karyn came home from college, and everything changed!
Karyn came home a very different sister and daughter than when she had first left for college life. She had found a boyfriend and a group friends that led her to Christ and couldn’t wait to share the message of salvation with her parents and her siblings. Though my Dad wasn’t happy that she had made the decision to join a church outside of the Catholic Church, he did notice that she was more respectful towards him, so he reluctantly accepted her decision. He would hold fast to his Catholic teachings and traditions, however, declaring that the Catholic Church was the only true church of God.
Karyn took me through many verses in John chapter 3 that speak of Nicodemus discovering that Jesus was the true Son of God who was the Savior of the world that the Israelites had been waiting for. She brought me to the verses in the Romans Road; Romans 3:10, 3:23 and 6:23, which explained my need for forgiveness. She also brought me to John 3:16, which gives the Gospel in one verse so simply and vividly—
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
All of this Good News popped out at me. It was when I read Ephesians 2:8,9 that I understood that it just isn’t possible to work one’s way to heaven or to think that you can be good enough to be allowed in. The good works that I had been taught to continuously strive after would never amount to earning eternal life in Heaven. To know that I could have the assurance of going to Heaven without ever having to wonder if I were good enough to make it there was very welcoming at that time of my life. In fact, this assurance almost felt too simple.
I only had to believe in the Scriptures—that Jesus was the true Son of God who was without sin, admit that I was a sinner in need of forgiveness, ask Jesus to forgive me of my sin and come into my life to be my personal Savior—and that was it? Upon doing so, I would then become a child of God and live with Him eternally after I died? The angels would rejoice over my decision to come to Christ? Yep. It was all true!
This good news relieved numerous struggles that I had been having with the concept of death, I had feared death and would imagine dying at any random time on any given day. Thinking on death would actually paralyze my thoughts when I let my mind really dwell on it.
So at thirteen years old, the very week that my sister had came home for a college visit, I laid on my top bunkbed one evening and prayed to God, my Heavenly Father. I asked Him for forgiveness of my sins and invited Jesus to be my Savior. Immediately after that prayer, I felt a joy deep down in my heart that I had never experienced before. Not only did I feel eternally secure, but I felt like the world was so very different than I had ever perceived before. It was as though I had new eyes to see and a new heart to experience emotions with. I awoke the next morning very excited to share my news with my sister, Karyn, who was also, extremely joyful that I had made the decision to follow Jesus!
This new grasp on Christianity, not based on religion, but based on a personal walk with Jesus, along with my decision to study the Scriptures—because I wanted to—would steer me in an entirely different course than what I had previously thought would be the direction of my life. I wouldn’t ever become part of that popular teen click thereby having to engage in immoral and crude behavior to do so. Unfortunately, that was what the teens in that group were notorious for. Instead, I would join a youth group and meet some teens and leaders that would become a significant part of my life who would help to steer me in the direction of continuing my heart’s desire to grow closer to my Savior. My hearts desire for a boyfriend would be answered, whom I would meet in that youth group—Campus Life, Youth for Christ—and we would be married in our young 20s and begin our family very soon after. The good works that I strive after in my walk with God is based on pleasing, Jesus, rather than trying to work my way to heaven.
God is good and greatly to be praised! Today, after having gone through the loss of our infant son Benjamin, our seventh child to be born, and than to be given the gift of two sons after this loss to make eight children here—while also experiencing our first miscarriage as our final pregnancy—which makes for that two in Heaven, we stand amazed at how God has allowed us the unique and awesome opportunity to become founders and directors of Benjamin Ministries; a Unique Bereavement Ministry. Our mission is as simple as the Gospel is to hear and receive…
Bereavement is the hardest work we have to do on planet earth, as we just were not meant to say goodbye. A personal relationship with Christ is the way through your bereaving process. Accepting your loss, working towards finding that—new-sort-of-normal—and letting the Holy Spirit speak to you about your loss and how to carry-on through it, are good and positive steps that will help you to grieve well.
Our HOPE is wrapped up in our ministry verse…
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
I look forward to seeing Jesus one glorious day, and seeing Ben again, who is probably hanging out with Karyn. I imagine they’ll play a part in helping me to get to know what Heaven is truly like.
Dwelling on these things, and so many promises of God has allowed the God of Peace to be with me.
I was born in a state called Andhra Pradesh, South India and brought up in a nominal Christian family. In
spite of attending Sunday school and church since my childhood, I never repented of my sins and trusted
the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. I was very wicked and did all the worldly things, bringing disgrace to
God and to my family, which resulted in my having no peace in my heart and no hope in my life. I was in
great confusion as to where I would be going after my death. This lead me into depression, therefore, I
wanted to end my life. But I was afraid I might go to hell.
As I was living this restless life, one day I was invited by my friend to attend a youth meeting where the
Word of God was preached from John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and
believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life.” These words touched my heart to believe on Jesus Christ and trust Him as
my Savior and Lord. From that very moment, I experienced a great peace in my heart. The Holy Spirit
helped me to confess all my sins and to trust and believe in Christ. I was assured of the forgiveness of
Lord according to First John 1:9. This day, March 25, 1999, was memorable in my life. After I was saved
from my sins and eternal damnation, I obeyed the Scriptures took water baptism on the 18th of January
As I was continuing my secular studies, one day I happened to attend a revival meeting. The preacher
spoke from the book of Isaiah, chapter 6 (“…who will go for us?”) and challenged us regarding the great
need in the country (INDIA), full of Idolatry and millions dying without salvation. Therefore, I responded
to the CALL of God and said, like the prophet Isaiah, “HERE AM I LORD, I WILL GO.” In that very moment,
I was assured that the Lord wanted me to serve Him, so I dedicated my entire life to serving my Savior. I
gave up my secular studies and went to Bible College to equip myself from His Word and eventually to
serve Him effectively.
Hence, on the 15th of August, 2005, I entered Peoples Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Trivandrum,
Kerala. I finished my Bachelor of Divinity degree in March 2009.
After finishing my studies in Kerala, I came to Andhra Pradesh and worked 3 years and 6 months with a
Baptist Church in Hyderabad. During these years, the Lord used me to lead more than 180 souls to the
saving knowledge of Christ and to baptize them.
I met my wife, Praveena Eunice, in the year of 2012. She had the same vision for the ministry. After 7
months, I resigned and started by faith “GRACE & TRUTH BIBLE CHURCH,” on the 9th January, 2013. At
present, more than 30 families are worshipping the Lord there.
The Lord has blessed us with a son and a daughter.
I got saved when I was a 16 year-old boy.
Before then, I was a boy who hated the words, “born again” because I thought I was on my way to
heaven by doing good things. I thought a person went to heaven if they did more good things than bad
things and they went to the lake of fire if they did more bad things than good things.
One day I visited my uncle, Pastor Centure Oloka, who told me that without salvation, no one will see
Then I told him, “Uncle, my religion says that only baptism and doing good things takes us to heaven.”
He said to me that that is not true. It is through accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
He shared with me verse by verse to show me how to be saved.
I was told four things to know before getting saved:
1. I am a sinner and no one is perfect. Romans 3:10 and 3:23
2. For everything you do, there is a payment or salary so my salary or payment for my sin was death and
hell. Romans 6:23
3. The good news is that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin. Romans 5:8
4. If anybody believes the above 3, he or she can be saved.
I realized that I was a sinner and on my way to hell.
I repented of my sin, then I called Jesus to come into my heart and save my soul. Romans 10:13
Today, I am confident that I am on my way to heaven because I believe that only Jesus can save man
from his sin.
“It was one eventful evening. The Lord led me to visit my senior brother at his residence…He gracefully
explained the way of salvation to me. I read Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23. He knelt down with me and
I prayed the sinner’s prayer.”
Jonathan was baptized a year after joining Faith Independent Baptist Church in Accra, Ghana. Jonathan’s
senior brother persuaded him to study cost accountancy in one of the leading commercial colleges in
Accra. In the middle of his second year, he read a sermon by Dr. John R. Rice in The Sword of the Lord.
The message was from Joshua 24:15. In his sermon, Dr. Rice challenged every young man, who has been
called, to enter the ministry. Without delay, Jonathan took the challenge whole-heartedly.
Jonathan is currently serving the Lord in Ghana, West Africa.
I came from a polygamous family which also practiced fetishism. When I
was 20 years old, I had to leave my family in order attend school 53 KMs
away from my village. While there, I met an evangelist who told me about
Jesus and gave me some lessons to study. I studied these lessons and one
afternoon in 1993, I prayed and accepted Jesus as my Savior. I was
baptized in 1994.
Though he was brought up in a Christian home, his father being a pastor, his
personal relationship with God began in 1995 during a youth camp organized by his
home church. During this camp, he heard the Gospel of salvation and felt in his heart
the need to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He confessed publicly Christ and his
personal relationship started there. He was baptized in 2003.
I grew up in a home where there were many arguments
about finances, so I developed the attitude that if you had
enough money, you would not have problems. By the time I
was 22, I had achieved a commissioned position with an
insurance business, had acquired land, homes, and developed
five restaurants, employing 150 people. I became bored with
all this and learned how to gamble. In trying to fill a void in
my life, I also became a certified scuba diver and a private
pilot with commercial and instrument ratings. But the pursuit
of all these things was indeed vanity, as Solomon said,
although I did not realize it at that time. It wasn’t too many years later that God allowed all my property
and holdings to be lost due to my persistent gambling. Ready and searching after this devastation, I
entered a Bible-believing church in 1988 and heard the message of Psalm 119:71: “It is good for me that
I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” The pastor gave an invitation to accept Christ. I
met with him later and trusted Christ as my personal Savior on December 21, 1988, at the age of 38. I
was then Scripturally baptized on January 1, 1989.
Moses was born into a pastor’s family and is the third generation involved in ministry. Growing up, he was very active in children’s and youth programs in the church, however, his involvement was more of a pressure than commitment. Finally, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior on December 31, 1997.
As he grew up, he saw his parents (Dr. & Mrs. Chatla Devasahayam) experience many troubles, humiliations, sufferings, and persecution due to their faithfulness to Christ. Moses was hesitant to take up the cross. It was his intention to get a good education, job, and support the ministry. But, God strengthened his faith through the example of Moses found in Exodus 3-4. He was challenged by God’s assurance to Moses against the five objections he posed to God in order to escape from his God-given mission. “I will be with you,” are the words that prompted him to dedicate his life and to carry the cross. He joined IGM in 2008.
Ninglum Wungkhai joined IGM in January, 2010, working through Vision2020Asia. Ning was saved as a teen when a preacher told him that knowing Jesus by name would not save him if he did not receive Him in his heart. He poured out his heart to God to forgive his sin and received Jesus as personal Savior. When he was mocked for his testimony, he realized the lost could not know about Jesus unless someone witnessed to them. He dedicated his life to serve God and become a preacher. God brought a trial into Ning’s life when, at the age of 18, he lost both his parents. He took the responsibility of caring for and working to feed his brother and sister. His situation gave him compassion for street children and orphans and caused him to ask God to use him to care for them. God opened the door for Ning to attend Bible College in Southern India. After school, he returned home and organized a group of college students to visit the border area villages. One of the village elders told him, “Brother, you are [only] the second person who came and talked about Jesus in my village.” He was challenged again to become a preacher. God then opened the door for him to attend West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, CA.
In 1997, I was invited for the first time to a prayer meeting in a church. At the time of the invitation, I was dejected and discouraged with life because of my poor academic performance. I was out of hope and I was about to be kicked out of school. I agreed to participate in the prayer meeting because of the difficulties. After the prayer meeting, the preacher invited the new people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It was then that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and my personal Savior. Matthew 11:28
After accepting the Lord Jesus Christ, I received hope to continue living. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for this great love that He has shown and which He continues to show in my life.
I was born on the 10th of November, 1960 in a little district called Lennox Bigwoods, Westmoreland, Jamaica. In April of 1971, my grandmother sent my cousins and I to the Good Friday Service at a little Baptist church in that same district where I was born. We waited for about two hours for the church building to be opened but, unfortunately, no one came to open the church or to conduct the service that day. Therefore, we went back home without knowing what a worship service was all about. Out of curiosity, I went back to that same church on Easter Sunday. I enjoyed the service and continued to attend church regularly. After I listened to the Sunday morning sermon on the 24th of October, 1971, at the age of 10 years old, I responded to the call of God to salvation and began my Christian life. I based my salvation experience on (Romans 10:9, 10 &13). I was baptized on the 26th of March, 1972. Since my initial days of salvation, my relationship with Christ has grown and developed into a life of spiritual maturity resulting in a practical, productive, and purposeful Christian witness.
I was called of God to the pastoral ministry in May of 1981 and have been involved in this same ministry until this present time. I am driven by a supreme and overreaching passion for His glory. Through the proclamation of the Gospel of God in words and deeds, I desire to see the worship of God spread to all the nations of the world.
Yours to the Glory of God,
I am Fritz Voltaire. I come from a family of 6 kids: 3 boys and 3 girls. I am the youngest boy of the 6. Our mother and father were not strong in the LORD JESUS. We used to go to church accompanied by our grandmother who was a fervent Christian. When I was 16 years old, I decided to choose my best friends among bad teenagers in my area. I went to church when I wanted and my father and my mother did not force me to keep serving our GOD.
I remember one day, while we were walking in one area, we saw an old, ugly man sitting in front of his house. I spoke very rudely to him and laughed at him. He told me, “Pretty soon, you are going to die.” Somebody nearby advised me to ask him to forgive me because I did not know he was the most powerful voodoo priest in town. He repeated, “Ask your parents to buy a casket for you. Next month at this time, you will be here with me”.
All my friends ran to their homes and they left me alone, trembling and weeping. I immediately felt something hit me. I went home, stumbling and getting dizzy. Our neighbors were saying, “Pretty soon, Fritz will be a zombie”. When I told the event to my mother, she cried her heart out. I could not eat, drink, or sleep. I became skinny. Every night, I thought I was in a coffin. My father went to the voodoo priest’s house to let him know he would pay him to heal me but the voodoo priest said. “It is too late.” My grandmother and some preachers from her church finally came to my home. They prayed for me and they explained to me that I needed to confess my sins and ask the LORD JESUS to accept me like His son forever. I promised the LORD that I would share His love and glory everywhere I am. This is why, from 1970 to now, I have JESUS as my Savior, my Master, my Best Friend, my Owner, my Treasure, my King, and my Guide.
I trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior on December 7, 1976 at the age of nineteen. The Sudan Interior Mission (SIM), that operated the only Christian radio station (ELWA) in the country at the time, also offered Bible correspondence courses in government schools in Monrovia. I applied to do the course and was accepted. In the letter of acceptance, l was told that the only way I would understand the course was to confess my sin and accept Christ as my Savior. Under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I knelt down and prayed to receive Christ as my Savior. I felt something strange, a good feeling of joy as though some heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and l began to praise the Lord.
That decision was the end of my search for God as a child. I grew up on the farm and my parents were not believers. We did not go church or Sunday school. But all along as a child, I knew there was a God. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” One person who demonstrated this verse was an old Christian lady, Nah Bontay, who was a member of the Baptist church in my town. She was single and lived in our village. One evening, she called us kids in her hut for family devotions and it was there that I first heard the story of Jesus. She told us how Jesus was born, how He healed the sick and raised the dead, and how He was put to death on a Roman cross, was buried, and rose again. At the end of the story, she gave the invitation. I raised my hand. But my elder brother glared at me, and out of fear, l put my hand back down.
That night, the seed was planted in my heart and it grew over the years, including when I moved to the city of Monrovia in 1971. The thought of dying and going to hell haunted me all along. “Remember what Nah Bontay said? You have to give your life to Christ.”, I would tell myself. When December 7 came, I was ready. Following my salvation, God gave me the desire to tell others about Christ. I began to attend church, got baptized, and started to teach Sunday school and Bible classes in the neighborhoods. Sensing the call of God on my life, I was encouraged by my missionary teacher, Miss Majorie Macmillan, to go to Bible College. The Lord gave me a beautiful wife, Roseline. We got married in 1987 and were blessed with two boys and a ministry to help kids. I resigned my job with the government in 1997 and went into full-time ministry with Calvary Baptist Church, first as director of evangelism, later as assistant pastor, and now as senior pastor for almost two decades. I am always grateful to God for that dear old Christian woman who did not hide her light.
I was born on June 17, 1960 in Bouake, Ivory Coast, where my parents were serving the Lord as
missionaries. I grew up in the country of Ivory Coast and was very fortunate to have had an opportunity
to experience life on the mission field. It was exciting to see the response of the Africans to the Word of
God and the change of life they experienced.
At the age of six, I was sent off to Ivory Coast Academy, a missionary boarding school, where I attended
school for the next twelve years. I graduated from ICA on July 7, 1978. I owe a great deal of credit to the
school for helping mold me into the person I am today. Many times, I felt the rules and regulations at
ICA were unreasonable but that’s what it took to mold me into a usable vessel for God’s service.
On October 3, 1967, I received Christ as my personal Savior during a spiritual emphasis week in which
Niel Foster was the guest speaker. The joy and peace I experienced at the time of conversion will always
be remembered as long as I live. My lifestyle just totally changed direction with God at the control. The
impact He has had on my life through the years has been tremendous and very enriching. He has
molded me into the person I am today and will continue molding me.
I received my calling a few years after my conversion while attending
meetings in which a French evangelist, Jacques Gerald, was ministering. He had been asked to come to
Ivory Coast by the president and to visit each major city and preach the Word of God. My father, in
Bouake at the time, encouraged my brothers and I to attend a few of the meetings and experience the
moving of God through the preaching of this evangelist. It was at these meetings that God dealt with me
and called me into His ministry overseas and impressed upon my heart the need for evangelism and
church growth among the African people.
My name is Ishwar Shrestha. I am the youngest son of my parents. I was born and brought up in an
orthodox Hindu family. When I was a Hindu, I believed in different gods and goddesses. My father was a
famous Hindu priest in my local area. He was a very devoted Hindu. But we were caused to come to
Christ because of an attack of the devil.
In 1994, my older sister was 20 years old. She became sick and affected by a demonic spirit. During the
initial period of her illness, we did not know that it was caused by a demon so our family performed all
kinds of rituals like sacrificing many animals such as goats, roosters, etc. and following the rules
suggested by the local witch doctor but her condition was deeper than that and it became worse as time
went on. Then we took her to the hospital but were surprised because she kept getting worse and the
doctors could not diagnose any disease. They had no suggestions for further care and so there was no
more hoping to be cured by medicine. Then we took her to a Buddhist priest, hoping to get some
solution because her physical condition was getting worse and we could not wait. That was also in vain.
We took her to many other priests and witch doctors but no one could help her.
After almost three months had passed since she become ill, she reached the last stage. We almost lost
all hope for her life and we now were waiting for her last breath. However, some people heard that the
news and came to suggest to us that we take her to the church for prayer. So, as a last resort, we
searched for some Christian people to pray over her and found some. When we attended prayer at their
church, the pastor said that there is healing for all kinds of sickness and disease. He told us that if we
believed in Jesus Christ, my sister would get well. So, we decided to do whatever he said. He prayed and
rebuked the devil and immediately, an amazing incident happened. The devil left her and my sister was
immediately healed. She got up from her bed. We saw that and were amazed so we committed our life
to Jesus Christ and whole family has followed Him to this day.
At that time, I was 14 years of age. After some time, when this news spread through the village, then
great suffering and persecution befell our family. We were not allowed to enter any neighbor’s house.
Our neighbors began telling us that we have all accepted a foreign religion and are now low caste (Nepal
has a caste system). They put my father into police custody for 3 days. By the grace of God, we stood
strong in faith. In 2002, I attended Bible college for three years (2002-2005) and earned my B.Th. at New
India Bible Seminary in Kerala, India.
After college, I planted a new church In Bhaktapur, Nepal and I am serving there as the pastor.
I have a calling from God to reach unreached peoples, tribes, and nations in remote areas of Nepal
through preaching, teaching, evangelism, church planting and making disciples. Now we have seven
Please remember our country, Nepal, in your prayers.
I was born and raised in a family that didn’t know God. Our family used to believe strongly in witchcraft
and lots of Spiritism. At the age of 12, one day I picked a Gospel tract that had been written…YESU
ATARUDI TENA, JE UKO TAYARI? Christ is coming again, are you ready? After reading that Gospel tract
title, the question came to mind, if it happens that Christ returns today, am I going to Heaven?
My heart was disturbed. I feared a lot. But I did not get an answer until one day a missionary visited our
school. He shared the Gospel clearly and I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Thanks to God for
saving me. It’s a journey I have lived for all this years with many challenges but His grace has been
sufficient for me. I have the assurance of seeing Jesus when He comes for His saints.
When I was born, my parents were actively living for the Lord. I constantly heard about Jesus loving me
so much, He died on the cross for me. Mama had a Bible club in our home. My dad belonged to a
group of men that would go from church to church as ushers helping for special meetings. Our family
would often go with him. We lived in the city of Philadelphia. At age 5, we went with Daddy to a large
church where Bill Rice [John R’s brother] was preaching. We sat in the balcony where Daddy was
ushering. It was that night I knew for sure I needed Jesus as my Savior. I raised my hand and then Daddy
went forward with me. A man talked to me and helped me pray, confessing that I was a sinner and
only Jesus could help me. When we came out of that room, my mom says I shouted out, “Mommy, I
have Jesus in my heart!” And after 73 years, He is still with me, leading, comforting and supplying my
every need. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
I grew up in a pastor’s home where my parents were faithful to share the Gospel with me. After hearing
a sermon from a visiting evangelist, I asked my dad how I could be saved and go to heaven. He shared
the Gospel with me from the book of Romans and I prayed and trusted Christ as my Savior. I was 5 years
I was saved in September 1974 at the age of 16.
Both of my parents are Catholics but only my father went to church sometimes. I was baptized when I
was 8 days old, according to Catholic teachings. It was there, I was given the name “Paul”. I went
through their classes for confirmation. I had opportunities to teach the class whenever our teacher was
absent or came late. Unfortunately, we were also worshipping idols at the same time. There is no
problem in doing so according to Catholic teachings.
It was February 1974 when a white Baptist missionary came to our area and was living opposite of our
house. Our father did not allow us to go to the white missionary. According to my father, the white
missionary had another god. I was drawn to the missionary because of sports. I love to play soccer,
volleyball, basketball and table tennis. The missionary had all these games and many more. Therefore, I
used to go to the missionary’s house almost each evening for the games. The missionary used to give us
pamphlets and sometimes he shared the Gospel with us. I was touched several times by the Gospel
message but I was afraid of my father. Because I knew that he would not be happy with me. The
missionary invited an African pastor from the country of Benin for a one-week crusade. I was able to
attend that crusade. The day before the ending of the crusade, Saturday morning, I went to that African
pastor with many questions about God and about our culture. I was born after twins. Moreover,
according to our culture, I was a god of the family and I had power. I could not resist God’s calling for
salvation after I got the answers to my questions. It was that morning in September 1974 that I accepted
Christ as my Lord and my Savior. Truly, I experienced great joy and I had peace of mind, which I never
had before that day because I was afraid to die and I had been asking myself where I would go after I
died. A few days later, my mother found out that I went to the white missionary and I had his God. She
talked to my father about it. One day, early in the morning at 2 AM, my father called me with my
mother. It was not an easy morning for me. My mother was crying. She said I would die because I turned
from our worship and because I threw away all the talismans they gave me. My father wanted to kick
me out of the house but he listened to the counsel of one of his friends and he did not. I went through
hard times. Nevertheless, I am very thankful to the Lord for sustaining me and helping me through it. I
am also thankful to the Lord for some of my brothers and sisters who gave their life to Christ, too.
Wes Auger was preaching and performing magic tricks for the children. He seemed to turn cutouts of
rabbits from black to white on opposite ends of the platform. He was illustrating the sinfulness of man
and the forgiveness of Christ. As a five year-old, I understood that I was a sinner and needed
forgiveness. At the end of the message, he gave an invitation. I was sitting with my mother in the back of
the church and I was on the aisle. My mother saw me leaning to go down front and took my hand and
we went forward together. I remember looking out the car window into the dark of night and I knew
something was different. As the years went by, I understood what had happened. I thank God for
eternal security, the sure knowledge of my home in heaven, and His presence in my life’s journey.
I was born on December 28, 1958 to Mr. Joe Kaba Weidehgar, Sr. and Mrs. Teebeh Newon Weidehgar in
Kapa Town, Timbo District, Rivercess County.
My parents were at first of the Islamic faith. My mother came to know the Lord in 1985. She faithfully
served with the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Lower Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, while my father
received the Lord in 1996 when I witnessed to him on his sick bed. He has gone to be with the Lord.
I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of nine while attending the Liberia Inland Mission
School, Rivercess County in 1967. I backslid upon moving to Monrovia in order to further my education.
When I enlisted in the Liberian National Police, years later, my spiritual lifestyle took on a slow
downward trend as a result of my association with ungodly friends. I became involved in all kinds of
sinful vices such as womanizing, smoking, drinking and night clubbing. Even though I sometimes went to
church while living such a life, I did so only for selfish motives (to entice women and make connections).
As a married man, I was an abusive and unfaithful husband. On one occasion, I got drunk and dragged
my pregnant wife in the pool of rain. My life was so morally bad. As a police officer who was supposed
to be a peace maker and loyal citizen, I was a law breaker and not at peace with myself and God. This
was my spiritual condition until the Lord brought me back into His sheep fold.
I rededicated my life to the Lord in September 1985 when a brother invited me to his church. The Lord
used the message titled, “Sinners, Where Are You?” to get through to me. I responded and rededicated
my life to the Lord and was subsequently baptized in December of the same year.
My Christian life was again shattered when two ministers of the Gospel got into confusion over church
purity. One was accused by the other of “putting too much emphasis on sin” which, he said, will drive
away more members from the church. This situation caused my already shaky spiritual life a serious
problem, thus leading me back to Egypt, figuratively speaking. But thanks be unto the Lord: He is always
concerned about one lost sheep. He used a friend, Pastor Peter Gebeor, to bring me back unto the Lord
after series of invitations to the Freeway Baptist Church of which he was the pastor. I finally rededicated
my life to the Lord in 1991 and began my gradual growth to spiritual maturity.
Upon rededicating my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I developed a strong desire to promulgate the Gospel
to the lost world as an evangelist. This was prompted by the knowledge of God’s Word. Based upon this
decision, I seriously started street evangelism. The success of this soul-winning campaign aroused my
desire for a sound Bible College education. This decision caused me to abandon my secular college
education in accounting at the University of Liberia. Encouraged again by Pastor Gebeor, I enrolled at
the Baptist College of Church Ministries in 1992 and graduated in 1995. While at the college, I enrolled
in the ROGMA BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE and obtained two certificates.
Thanks be to God, I have served as pastor for two churches, the Second Calvary Baptist Church and the
Matadi Baptist Church.
I am a fourth-generation Christian. My grandfather served as a teacher in a school run by a British
missionary and he got saved and became a pastor. My father served the Indian Railways, took voluntary
retirement, and served in a radio ministry as an evangelist.
Though I am from a Christian family by birth, my re-birth into Christ happened in the year 1992. While I
was attending a Summer Bible School, God touched my life through His Word and I realized that I
needed to be born-again. I gave my life to Christ in that Summer Camp. Since then, I have served the
Lord in various capacities. The Lord has used me as Sunday school teacher for kids, a youth leader, an
evangelist, and now as a missionary. I married Ms. Pauline in 2005 and we are blessed to have two
handsome boys, Paul & Chris.
I was born again in 1997, after hearing the true Gospel being preached at an evangelistic meeting in our
neighborhood. This happened when I realized that I was a lost sinner in need of a Savior, and I admitted
all my sins, and confessed my sins, and I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life, and at that moment,
the Lord Jesus Christ saved me. Later, the Lord led me to be trained and prepared for ministry at
Tabernacle Baptist College and Theological Seminary in Virginia Beach, VA. After completing my
graduate studies, I married my beloved wife, Beritah in 2015. The Lord has blessed us with a son,
Andrew. Since seminary studies, the Lord has used me as a Bible teacher, Bible Conference speaker, and
Greetings in the blessed name of Jesus Christ our Lord. My name is PRABHAKAR RAO JUTIKE. I was born
in a small village in the state of Andhra Pradesh, South India. My parents used to work in the fields as
daily laborers. In the year I was born, a great thing happened in my village. Some preachers brought the
Gospel to my village and preached for 3 days. Seventy people accepted Christ as their Savior and were
baptized, hence, the Plymouth Brethren assembly was started and continues until this day. So I had the
privilege to attend Sunday school and church along with my mother, who believed in Christ as her
Savior, but my father did not believe.
When I was 10 years old, I was sent to the American Baptist Mission boarding home and upper primary
school in the nearby town for 6 th & 7th grades. After 2 years, I was admitted to the Lutheran high school
and hostel for 3 more years. While I was in 10th grade, I accepted the Lord Jesus on the 25th of January,
1973, while walking from a nearby village to my village. Then when I was 14 years old, while in 11 th and
12 th grades in a bigger town, my life became much worse and I was away from the Lord. During the 2
years of my college studies (11 th and 12 th grades in the United States), I was totally corrupt and far away
from the Christian life. But in the eternal purposes of our Lord, I realized that He chose me to serve Him.
Therefore, I repented like the prodigal son and dedicated my life to serve Jesus as His servant on the
24th of July, 1975. In the same year, I enrolled in the Bible College in Hyderabad, South India and
completed my Bachelor of Divinity degree, my Bachelor of Arts degree from Osmania University, and
also a Librarian course. From 1979 to 1986, I worked in the same college as a librarian and part-time
lecturer until 1986.
I got married to Esther in the year 1984. The Lord has blessed us with 3 daughters. After resigning from
the college, from 1986 to 1990, I visited Telugu churches in the state of Karnataka. After many months
of prayers, the blessed Lord helped us to start a church with 3 ladies in a small room on March 4 th , 1990.
The gracious Lord blessed the ministry to have 2 more branches, besides evangelizing hundreds of
villages, preaching in thousands of Gospel and revival meetings, and teaching 2 years in a Bible school in
Bangalore, Karnataka. At present, we are supporting 10 village pastors through IGM. We are very
thankful to the Lord for His goodness.
At present, I am:
1) Pastoring 3 churches in Hyderabad with 2 assistants
2) Teaching 2 subjects in the Bible College where I studied
3) Visiting village churches in 2 Telugu states and in Orissa state
I was a lost person for fourteen years of my childhood. I was born into a family who did not know God.
My dad never believed in the written Word and he was against Christianity. By God’s grace, the
Scriptures in Luke 19:10 was fulfilled which says Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. It was at the
age of fourteen years that I heard the Gospel preached and I believed it to be the true Word of God.
Thus, I gave my life to Jesus despite having great opposition from my parents. I received a “call” and a
“burden” in my heart to love and serve God in my life.
My life verse is John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him
that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto
life.” Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:” Thus, I,
Cleophas, do put my trust only in Him.
I was born and brought up in a Christian family and my father was a pastor as well as the executive
secretary of an association of 10 churches. I have three younger brothers and 4 younger sisters. Being
brought up in a Christian leader’s family, I got the chance to attend many conferences and camps but
my heart was not with Jesus. But by the grace of God, I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior in October
1985 at one of the youth camps conducted by our churches’ association. The following year, on Easter
Sunday, I got my water baptism. Later in the next year, 1987, I went to Bharat Bible College in Andhra
Pradesh to equip myself for the ministry.
I am blessed with a beautiful wife and three children.
I was born in a traditional African polygamous family and I used to follow my parents to idol worship.
Christians told me about the salvation offered by Jesus Christ but I did not take them seriously. But in
1988, in one of the annual ceremonies, a quarrel occurred. It was in the middle of this that I was
convinced of the fact that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. So in December 1988, I was led to faith in
Jesus Christ by Pastor TAMA.
I was baptized by total immersion on October 15, 1989, in Dimori Baptist Church by an American
missionary named Ray.
I was born to Catholic parents and I used to attend a Catholic church with my mother.
In March 1998, one pastor paid a visit to our home looking for my elder brother. He said, “I have good
news for you.”
He preached to us about the love of God. The Scripture was John 3:16 and he ended with John 5:24
where he explained the assurance of new life for believers.
From that point, I discovered myself in need of receiving Christ Jesus as my Savior. I accepted and gave
my life to Jesus Christ and the pastor prayed with me.
I started attending his church and after a period of six months, I was baptized by immersion.
The church elected me as the church secretary but my desire was to become the pastor after completing
a theology course.
It was in 2009 that I heard that Pastor Maungo Wilson from Kenya was coming to minister in a seminar
at Munamba Baptist church, so I also attended with them and we welcomed him for three days of
On the last day, he invited students to attend the Bible college and I was the first one to raise my hand.
He registered me that day.
I took my pastoral course from 2009 to July 2014 and earned my diploma. Before my graduation, I paid a
visit to Trinity Bible Baptist Church and found the Christians there crying to get a pastor, so I was called
to be the pastor of Trinity Bible Baptist Church where I am now serving.
CONCLUSION: I will serve the Lord until I am called home to heaven.
I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic until I got saved at age 15 in March 23, 1976. By faith I
received Jesus Christ as my only Savior and Lord, the Eternal God Who was born a human but without a
sin nature, Who lived on earth, died on the cross because of His love for all mankind, was resurrected
after 3 days, and will soon come back for the saved.
As a child, I never saw my parents go to church because they both had different beliefs although both
were very kind. My mother was so superstitious and animistic but my father would tell us Old
Testament Bible stories but without any salvation message. When I finished high school, I became our
community youth chairman and for the first time, I heard one of the youths talking about their Bible. He
was from a cultic group but very persuasive. There I began to desire to know what’s in the Bible so I
would know how to refute their teachings. God saw the desire in my heart and its emptiness and in a
very short while, another young person invited me to a Christian church which was 3 towns away from
mine. There I heard the pastor preach the Gospel and I put my trust in Christ and became a new person.
This is where I was taught and became very passionate in sharing the Bible. Here, I first served God in
teaching children and joining the outreach points until I finished my college degree. Of course, you can
imagine how friends, relatives, and my own family disliked me. All of them except for my father cut all
support for my education, but at that time, he was already blind. By God’s grace, He gave me different
odd jobs like typist in a radio station or selling different household items. I had many difficult
experiences but He blessed me and enabled me not to quit and to finish college. After several years,
one by one, my brothers and sisters became saved. I am the 7th of the eight children and a first-
generation Christian in the family. Eventually, my parents got saved, also. I forgot all the hardships and
tears, knowing that my loved ones were and are heaven-bound.
I entered Bible School as a student after graduating from college, but they lacked office personnel. So I
became part of the staff in the finance office for 6 years and finished a one-year certificate in Bible. I
was one of the Sunday school teachers for children of First Baptist Church of Manila and 2 new
outreaches at that time. Here also, I met my husband who was a pastor and Bible teacher in the same
Bible Institute. On March 16, 1987, we got married and later moved to Mindanao Island. God blessed us
with ministries in evangelism, we taught the Bible in public schools, put up churches in several areas,
and started an orphanage, radio program and school. I acknowledge that only God can do things that
are impossible for us to do.
We had three children and then my husband died on December 16, 2006. I still serve the church and
school where my husband served. I still have the same passion for the Lord and His Word since He
saved me. The joy never ceases. Even in manifold trials in many, many ways and forms, God never
leaves my side. He just strengthens me with many other brethren. In 2007, Rev. Rex & Andrea Furman
visited me and helped me to join IGM. I am most grateful that I belong to a soul-winning, Bible teaching
I love the songs, “He Giveth More Grace” and “Constantly Abiding”. Philippians 3:10. All glory to God!
Grace Baptist Church, Rajahmundry, and South INDIA
I was saved in March 1983 when I attended a Gospel meeting at Bhimavaram. I heard the Gospel
message in that meeting and was convicted of my sins and repented for them and I asked Jesus to
forgive me and to come and live in my heart as my Savior and Lord. Then my relationship with God
started. I was baptized by immersion on May 16 th , 1983. In 1998, I decided to serve the Lord full time in
the unreached part of our District and State. I am married to Ms. Karuna and we are blessed with two
beautiful daughters, Esther and Sarah. Esther got married and Sarah is working on her post-graduate
degree in Business Management. Please pray for our ministry and family.
In His Harvest,
Pastor Suresh Babu Ravi
My name is Pastor K. Thomas and I was born in a small village called Kandlagunta, Andhra Pradesh, in
South India. At the age of 17, I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. But I wanted to have a secular job
and be a good Christian. After graduation, I joined a private firm and worked as a financial manager and
was enjoying my life. But deep in my heart, I had the desire to serve Christ.
As I was working as a financial manager in the company, the Lord called me through Matt 28:18-20, but
I was reluctant. But when the Lord confirmed my call from Matt 9:37-38, “Then saith he unto his
disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the
harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’” then I responded and resigned as a financial
manager. I had a strong desire to learn the Word of God and so I went to the state of Kerala and earned
my BD degree in People Baptist Bible College.
After my graduation, I had the desire to serve the Lord in North India. God fulfilled my desire and
opened the doors to minister in a Baptist church in Chhattisgarh for three years. Chhattisgarh is a very
dangerous place for Christians as it has many Maoists (an Indian Communist party). But God used me to
grow the church from 70 to 350 members. God enabled me to baptize 203 believers and encourage
them to be strong in their faith. I have had many opportunities to preach, teach, encourage, and counsel
hundreds of youngsters during these years.
I am married to Sophiya Grace, who has the same vision and earned her BD degree at Bharat Bible
College. We are doing the Lord’s ministry unceasingly for the glory of God. Please uphold us in your
prayers so that we might become a great blessing to many.
We were desiring and praying to start a church in CHHATTISGARH, North India. The Lord answered our
prayers and enabled us to start BERACAH BAPTIST CHURCH in two areas. The first is in RAIPUR, 8Km
from the airport and the second is in BHILAI which is 35 KM from the airport. We are toiling relentlessly
for the growth of the churches. At present, more than 90 families are attending and worshiping the
Lord. Presently, we are gathering in rented halls for worship.
The mission of the BERACAH BAPTIST CHURCH is to ‘‘GIVE LIFE TO THE PERISHING SOULS’’. We pledge
our lives to Christ and covenant with each other to demonstrate His Spirit through worship, witnessing,
and ministering to the needs of the members and of the community at large.
Please uphold us and our ministry in your prayers.
I met two young people in 1980 and they shared the Gospel with me using Ecclesiastes 12:1-3. At that
time, I was very sad about the idea of a judgment after death. There was no peace in my life and money
did not bring me happiness. The Word of God touched my life and I accepted Christ as my Savior and
began my walk with Him. Then my life was filled with joy. It was not until 1984 that I received baptism
because I left the city where I was saved to move elsewhere and that delayed my baptism. The height of
the Lord’s spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1: 3) was my call to serve Him. I thank God for His grace and for
the positive impact of Jesus Christ on my wife and children.
Born in a Christian family, my dad was pastor of the old country church. After finishing my elementary
school in 1974, l went to Port-au-Prince to continue school because they did not have a high school in
my area. I was 17 years old when l attended the high school in Diquini. I used to come home very late at
night. I had a terrible experience one night on the way back home. A voodoo ceremony was being
performed on the road and there was no way to go around it. I found myself in the middle of it. The
only thing l can say is that Jesus saved me from being harmed and l arrived home safely.
I shared that experience with my pastor. He prayed with me and I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. I
was baptized in April 1975. Since that time l dedicated my whole life to Christ.
It is my great joy to write this testimony.
I grew up in a small village in a big Christian home. I am the second son of my family; I have 6 (six) brothers and 2 (two) sisters. I took care of my brothers and sisters from the time I was age 8 until I was 15 years old.
When I was 16 years old, my father got a small job. My Mom and Dad had prayed for this for many years and God, in His grace, answered. My parents always asked God to give their sons and daughters the opportunity to serve Him. My parents were Godly parents.
While in my childhood I wished to go to school but I could not go. How much I wished to go school and learn Christian songs and Bible stories, but I was not able to go school until I was 15 years old. Therefore, I used to stand close by our village school compound while taking care of my younger brothers and sisters during the school day and listen to what the teachers were teaching. I learned Gospel songs and Bible stories from outside the school room.
My Mom taught me Gospel hymns every night after she returned from her work and before we went to bed. I remember that my Mom and Dad prayed and dedicated me and my little brother, L. Shimray, to the cause of the Gospel.
I followed and did every Christian activity and I also read the Bible and prayed to God. One night, I attended a Gospel meeting. That night, the preacher preached from the Gospel of John 3:15-18. That night, June 4th, 1998, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I was baptized on June 20th, 1998.
I entered full-time ministry in 1999 but my ministry was not effective because of my lack of knowledge of God’s Word; therefore, I went to Bible college for 6 years in South India. It would take 6 days to reach the Bible college from my hometown and 6 days to return home by bus and train. I had so many difficulties and problems while I was in Bible college. But by the grace of God, I completed my courses in the year 2005. Thanks to God for His grace and love.
Right after my courses, my little brother, L. Shimray, invited me to work with him in Assam, North East India as a church planter/missionary. I joined him in May 2005 for the cause of the Gospel. I began door-to-door evangelism, family worship, Bible study, inviting people to visit church to hear the Word of God, Gospel tract distribution, open-air Gospel preaching, prison ministries, children’s ministries, planting churches where there are no churches, and training missionaries because this was an unreached area, and many people were perishing. In the beginning of my ministry, no one supported us financially and in prayers, except my parents and my younger brother. He was in the Indian Army and supported us using his salary.
I started a used clothing business in September 2007 in order to support our ministries. My brother was beginning a children’s home and children’s charity Christian school in a village of the Rabha tribe which had never heard the Gospel even one time and was surrounded by Hindus and Muslims. We began with a great vision and burden for the next generation and followed in the footsteps of early missionaries.
We were living in bamboo huts without electricity and no proper drinking water and not enough food to eat. The summer was burning hot and the rainy season brought flooding, cyclones, and many hardships. Every year, our children’s home and school, which were simply bamboo huts, were destroyed by cyclones.
My brother and I were able to plant 15 churches and train up men and women as missionaries and church planters in order to reach different villages, tribes, and languages before he died.
On May 7th, 2010, God took my little brother to His eternal home. Three days later, a cyclone came and destroyed all the bamboo houses we built for the school and the children’s home. The Hindus told me that my brother had come back and taken his properties and asked me when I would be returning to my home since I had lost everything.
After my brother died, all the ministries became my responsibility to carry out by faith alone in Jesus Christ. My heart was very heavy, and the tears seemed to roll down my face unceasingly, but God never left me alone.
On September 9th, 2012, I married my Godly wife, Marvirose Shimray. She never complains of living with so many difficulties. God also gave us a lovely daughter, Yoyo Shimray, on February 10th, 2014. Thank God for what He has given me.
My wife and I have encountered much persecution. Many times, unbelievers have tried to kill me. Three times our houses were burned down. The Hindus totally shut our church fellowship, children’s school, and children’s home from May to August 2013, but by the grace of God, we reopened everything and continued our work. In 2015, five churches were burned down, and two believers were killed. Many new believers were kicked out of villages and their land and property were taken from them by force for following Christ. Still, we never turn from what God has given us to do and, therefore, God has blessed us in many different ways. Also, some of the leaders of these persecutors have believed the Bible and accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord.
My wife and I have run a used car business since 2013 in order to support our ministries. Now our ministries are growing rapidly and winning lost souls in North East India. His love and grace are sufficient in our ministries. It was in God’s purpose and plan to send me here to fulfill Great Commission.
I thank God for choosing my wife and I to serve Him. On behalf of my family, thanks to IGM/Vision2020Asia for allowing us to be member of the family. Thanks to Dr. Jim Starr and all our supporters who support us financially and in prayer. Through your love, support, and prayers, many people are blessed and lost souls in North East India are being saved. Please continue to support us in the days to come. God bless you all.
Pastor Shimray is the pastor of Grace Asian Baptist Church.
In His Service,
Bro. Athing Shimray
North East India
I was born to Catholic parents and I used to attend a Catholic church with my mother.
In March 1998, one pastor paid a visit to our home looking for my elder brother. He said, “I have good news for you.” He preached to us about the love of God. The Scripture was John 3:16 and he ended with John 5:24 where he explained the assurance of new life for believers. From that point, I discovered myself in need of receiving Christ Jesus as my Savior. I accepted and gave my life to Jesus Christ and the pastor prayer with me. I started attending his church and after a period of six months, I was baptized by immersion.
I took my pastoral course from 2009 to July 2014 and earned my diploma. Before my graduation, I paid a visit to Trinity Bible Baptist Church and found the Christians there crying to get a pastor so I was called to be the pastor of trinity Bible Baptist Church where I am now serving.
Conclusion: I will serve the Lord until I am called home to Heaven.
I am very thankful that I am still alive to share my testimony on the face of the earth. If it were not for the Lord Jesus Christ Who died on the cross, then I could have died a long time ago. I thank Him that He saved my life on 5/7/1993. Since then, I have lived for Him.
I serve the Lord as a missionary in my own country, Kenya, in the second largest slum in Kenya called KOROGOCHO. The Lord has been so faithful to us as a church, and He has brought us through tough times and good times. I thank the IGM for standing with me as a missionary by supporting me. There are many challenges which we are still passing through like Covid-19 and the demolition of our church building. I believe these to be temptations in the ministry. I have decided to serve the Lord in all circumstances.
May the Lord bless you all.
“I received Christ through the teaching of a missionary who shared with me the love that God had for me. I accepted Christ after a strong fight against malaria. It almost took my life. The same missionary who led me to Christ said that God had something special for my life. I was so thankful that God spared me and saved me that I wanted to continue serving Him.” Yao was baptized the following year.
Yao worked and trained with Jim Arnold, Acting Director of FMI and National Field Representative for Ivory Coast, for 10 years. Yao is married to Kouame Amenan Marie and they have 4 adult children.
I was born in a Christian family. My parents sent me to a Christian school where the Bible was one of the topics. When l was 14 years old, l became very sick. My parents brought me to the hospital and the doctors asked to admit me. After about 2 months at the hospital, l became worse. My parents decided to return home with me. l was vomiting and had pain in my whole belly. l was about to die when I made a vow to dedicate my whole life to the Lord God. My father called our pastor and his wife to assist me. They explained me what a vow is. I asked God to accept my promise to him. Little by little, l became well. With the help of the Holy Spirit, l have been living the Christian life. My father always reminds me of my vow. By the grace of Jesus Christ, I am still faithfully serving my God with joy smile and fervor.
When I was a young student, I often said that I would not go to church because I suffered. I thought that it is those who are suffering who go to church. Unfortunately, that was what happened to me. I was in my master school year at the University of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, and I felt sick because of my bad life. Doctors could not do anything for me. I was in desperation. Christians often came to evangelize us on the campus, and they gave us tracts. I was looking for God. In the tracts that I had, it was explained how to accept the Lord and that is what I did, and the Lord healed me. I joined the fundamental Baptist church, which was near the campus. There I was baptized and began to serve the Lord Who had pity on me. I realized that if I had died in my sins, I would go to hell. I decided to give up everything for the Lord because it was what I had to do. My family disapproved of me, but I knew that I had made the best choice. These things occurred in September 1992.
I was born and raised in an African rural religious environment. My parents and the whole extended family were Roman Catholic. I grew up as an ardent Roman Catholic and went through all the religious requirements and motions. In January 1995, I moved to the capital city (Nairobi) and began attending the Assemblies of God church together with the family I lived with. The senior pastor of that church was killed in December of that year. In the requiem service for the deceased pastor, the preacher assured everyone in the audience that the deceased pastor was in a better place (Heaven). He insisted of being certainly sure because the deceased pastor was born again. In closing, the preacher asked the question, “Where would you be if it were you in the place of the deceased pastor? “This would be my first conscious thought about God, life, and eternity. The real journey of my walk towards faith had begun. I gifted myself with a Bible for the New Year which I read occasionally. This occasional looking at God’s Word continued until 12/31/1999. My wife and I went to church (Faith Baptist Church) for an overnight prayer service to usher in the year, century, and millennium. There was much speculation, excitement, and fear of what the new millennium would bring and besides, we had our own personal challenges in which we wanted God to intervene. The pastor (missionary) as though having prepared the message just for us (my wife and I) so to speak, preached from Mathew 6:33-34, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” This was my first encounter with a clear and pure exposition of God’s Word. The LORD used His Word to bring me into His gracious salvation that night. My journey of walking towards faith ended on the night of 12/31/1999 and my journey of walking in the faith began. I began the New Year and the new millennium as a new creature. I rejoice in the LORD always. The gracious God is worthy of all possible honor and glory.