In her sixties, Arghun and her family have attended our church for several years. But we have seen very little evidence of her spiritual life. Until recently.
Several months ago, she joined a small group. After that, we noticed that she was sitting more in the middle of the room. A couple of times, she opened her mouth in the service and shared her thoughts.
Unknown to us, during the same time period, God was working in the hearts of a couple from Canada who had visited us. They had prayed and asked God to lead them to a needy family with whom they could leave a gift to help them through the winter.
We had suggested other families that, according to our perspective, had greater needs, but the couple was quite sure that God was prompting them to give to Arghun’s family.
For various reasons, the gift was delayed. But, in the end, the timing was perfect because of what God was doing in Arghun’s heart.
As the harsh winter weather was setting in, she had no coal and no wood to burn. “After eight years in this church,” Arghun said, “this week was the first time I really prayed.”
Then the gift arrived.
“I was amazed,” Arghun said. “God heard my prayer and he answered my cry for help, above and beyond what I expected!”
On Sunday, we were amazed by her boldness in testifying to God’s goodness. As she stood up in the service, she was a changed person. Even her posture was different. In the past, she had often covered up the side of her face where a stroke had left her mouth crooked. This time, she seemed unconcerned about appearance. By the end of her testimony, Arghun was holding her Bible high above her head and preaching to all of us about how we needed to cry out to God and be ready to experience his gracious help.
However, she didn’t stop there. She also shared about how she had purposely bought clothing and dressed up to disguise her family’s poverty. She had not invited people to her home as she was ashamed of how they lived. Now she didn’t care what others thought – she only wanted people to know about God’s goodness. Recently, we dropped by Arghun’s home to deliver some insulation materials and to check that the wood and coal had arrived. Again, her boldness encouraged our hearts. She continued to give thanks to God for his provision. Before we left, she said, “This family in Canada has put a fire in my house, but God has put a fire in my heart!”