Nana could recite Bible verses word for word, but it took many years for Nana to open her heart to the truth of the gospel. Resonate Global Mission missionary Laura discipled Nana every step of the way, and God revealed himself to Nana in miraculous ways.
A Disconnect between the Head and the Heart
Nana’s mother was the first Christ follower in a Muslim-majority village where Laura serves. Nana grew up going to church and hearing Bible stories, but she also grew up teased and picked on for her mother’s faith.
Kids at school would bully Nana, and she found no respite from her teachers. They’d encourage students to pick on her. “She grew up knowing about the Lord, but associating [Jesus] with pain and rejection,” said Laura.
Nevertheless, Nana wanted to continue learning about Jesus. For many years, Laura came to Nana’s house to disciple her mother. Nana would patiently wait until the two were finished with their lesson. Then, it was Nana’s turn. She and Laura would study the Bible together. They read Bible stories, explored theology, and discussed what it meant for Nana to follow Jesus in her daily life.
Despite all the studying, Laura could sense that Nana wasn’t fully grasping the truth of the gospel. “She was accumulating the intellectual knowledge,” said Laura, “but I could tell it hadn’t touched her heart yet.”
Then Nana got married and had two difficult pregnancies. For the entire nine months of Nana’s first pregnancy, the baby didn’t move. Nana never felt any flutters or kicks. She kept going to the hospital, expressing worry, but every time, the doctors and nurses told her: “There’s a heartbeat. The baby is alive.”
But because of the baby’s position, the doctors said Nana would likely need a cesarean section. Laura, Nana, and Nana’s family were concerned—the hospital didn’t have the technology to ensure a safe procedure. An operation was risky.
“But the Lord did a miracle,” said Laura.
When Nana went into labor, the baby moved so Nana didn’t need to risk an operation. “That was the first thing that made her go: ‘Wow. God really loves me. God took care of me. God really was with me through this,’” said Laura.
But Laura sensed that the Holy Spirit had yet to fully capture Nana’s heart. Laura continued to meet with and disciple Nana.
An Open Heart
Nana’s second pregnancy proved just as difficult as the first, and this time, she needed surgery. Laura and Nana’s family were worried that they would lose both Nana and the baby, but they both survived.
“The Lord just really intervened,” said Laura. “I think that was what really opened not just [Nana’s] mind but her heart to the Lord,” said Laura. “There was just a change in her.”
As Laura and Nana met one afternoon, Nana asked to be baptized.
“Why?” Laura asked.
“I want to make it public that I belong to the Lord,” said Nana. “I want to live my life for him.”
Laura and the elders of the community church believed God had truly touched Nana’s heart. On a drizzling afternoon, they all went out to the lake and baptized Nana in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Praise God for catching hold of Nana’s heart, and for the evidence of his grace in her life! It can take a long time for someone to make a decision for Christ—thank you for supporting Resonate missionaries like Laura as they patiently disciple seekers and believers like Nana.
--Names have been changed for security reasons