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Making disciples among the unreached

A child's confident prayer

Tags: Eurasia, Russia, Story

By Jami G. in Siberia

“God, I pray that Ayuna and her kids would come to our church and would come to know you,” Ella prayed every night for a couple of weeks. I was torn in my heart, touched by our 5-year-old daughter’s prayers for our friends, knowing that the Lord must be at work — and yet, filled with doubt.

“There’s no way Ayuna will come to our church,” I thought. We hadn’t seen her in months, and our church is across the city from her home. And beyond that, I got the sense that Ayuna had been avoiding me recently.

You can imagine my surprise and joy when Ayuna called me from the bus the next Sunday, telling me that she and her kids would be arriving in a few minutes! After the service, Ayuna and her kids stayed for a couple of hours, talking and hanging out. As I drove them home, Ayuna shared that she had listened as hard as she could to the sermon but just couldn’t understand. What does it mean that Jesus is the light of the world? What does it mean that God gave his only son for us?

Ayuna’s interest in the Lord grew significantly about a year ago. Her daughter nearly died of tick-borne encephalitis last summer, and during that crisis, Ayuna experienced God and was amazed by the prayers of many all over the world on behalf of her daughter, Alina. When Alina was in critical condition, Ayuna went outside and cried out to God. It was very stormy, and she yelled, “God, if you’re real, make Alina better!” At that moment, a bolt of lightning hit the ground right next to her. From that point on, Alina began to recover.

Ayuna said that since last summer, something in her mind and heart has changed toward God, and she doesn’t want to ignore that. She’s started attending our home group. She’s shared that she has tried at times to read the Bible we gave her, but she gets distracted in the day and falls asleep when she reads it at night. We’ve told her about the spiritual world, how there’s a war going on and how powerful the Bible is!

I’m reminded of the power of prayer, both our little daughter’s prayers and the prayers of many around the world when Alina was so sick. I’m amazed by the mighty, lasting effect of God’s healing power. I am encouraged as Ayuna and I are beginning to write back and forth each day a new Bible verse to meditate on. I am amazed as I see the Lord give her insights into things that before she would never have understood. God is at work, and we praise him!