Living out our faith like Monjira

Posted on March 30, 2011 by VMMissions Staff

Recently, I have missed my family. The cultural divide between me and my neighbors has seemed huge. In thinking about how the cultural practice of seclusion hurts women, I have felt in despair.

Every Thursday I go to Monjira’s neighborhood and meet with three women to study the Bible. They are wives of men who came to faith twenty years ago, but because these women are illiterate, their progress to faith has been slow.

As the years have passed, we have seen incredible change in the women. They have learned that Jesus is the only way to God. They have learned that the Qur’an is not the Word of God, but that it can be used in witnessing. These women did a literacy course together, and now they read the Scriptures by themselves and pray out loud. We have learned to teach them using oral methods. They now see themselves as evangelists in their own neighborhoods, passing along the stories that they have heard.

Monjira lives in a tin shack. She cooks on cow dung and her only water supply is a quarter mile away. Her son is mentally challenged and though her husband is a believer, he is prone to abusive anger. At times I have questioned why God would let anyone live in such awful conditions. There was one occasion that fighting resulted in the day’s only food being thrown out and their only bucket broken. It will take generations before the work of God bears fruit, I have thought.

Yet it is Monjira who strengthened my faith this week. She experiences daily ridicule for her faith. This hasn’t stopped her from doing her daily devotions out loud so neighbors can listen in. Recently, a neighbor asked Monjira why she confesses her sin to God. This lady now wants to come to our Bible study. Monjira told me that people can beat her or starve her, because she knows that she will spend eternity with God.

God wants to give me Monjira’s persistence and joy. God wants to tell me that our team’s work here is vital, and yet insignificant compared to the work of the Spirit. We must not doubt the change a simple Bible story has on society, and we must live out our faith like Monjira.

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