Transform totally

written by Annie Reed

Gladys has been working in Kapembwa Village, a village along Lake Tanganyika in Zambia, for four years. Kapembwa Village is known as one of the darkest villages bordering the lake. People believe in witchcraft and witch doctors, and Gladys says that they did not know there was an answer beyond witchcraft. Even though witchcraft has a dark hold in the village, people are transforming as their lives are changed through Jesus.

Gladys’ neighbor, John, was a leader in the spiritualist church in Kapembwa, and he used to believe that there was nothing greater than witchcraft. John was one of the many people in the village who tried to stop the work that Gladys was doing. Every time Gladys would have a prayer meeting, he would get angry and say that those praying were making too much noise or otherwise complain. As time went on, God came to John in dreams and would point to Gladys' house or the church she was working with. The neighbor called Gladys because he was scared and didn’t know what to do, but the church members were elated that God was so clearly revealing Himself to this man. The church and Gladys introduced him to Jesus. John accepted Jesus as his Savior, and his life became radically different. He was transformed into a person who now shared with the whole village how there is more than witchcraft. John sits on the village council, and his influence in Kapembwa has shown people that the darkness in witchcraft is not as strong as the light from God.

Gladys also met a teenage girl, Stacy, who did not know who Jesus was. While Gladys was not aggressive in sharing the gospel with this her, Stacy still saw how Gladys ministered to people and how she was different. Stacy approached Gladys and said that she wanted to be like her. Gladys immediately knew what Stacy meant, took out her Bible and started encouraging her. As Gladys continually shared Christ’s message of hope and love, Stacy eventually decided to accept Jesus.

One day, after a year, Stacy’s father came to Gladys to thank her. He said when his daughter visits her extended family now, she will gather everyone in the house, read the Bible out loud and explain it to them. It does not matter who is in the home, Stacy will faithfully host Bible reading time in which she shares the Good News and points out how people are unable to live without God. Her father was amazed because he never knew that his daughter would behave in such a way.

Now, Stacy encourages other people, too, and she helps lead a prayer group. The girl emulates Gladys’ confidence in her faith and is comfortable sharing with anyone. The teenager is not limited by cultural boundaries, even exhorting and encouraging older women in her church. Gladys, in seeing the changed life of this young woman, says, “God is doing things not only in big people but in young girls as well.”

“It hasn’t been easy because there have been a lot of challenges from people who tried to stop the work of God, but what we know is that what God has started, no one can end it,” Gladys affirmed. She knows that her ministry cannot survive without prayer, and asks that you pray with her and believe with her as God transforms the village of Kapembwa. 

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