An Afghan refugee was about to burn a bag of Bibles and other free Christian literature she had taken from a stand outside a church in the Middle East to keep herself and her small daughter warm.
Like most refugees from Afghanistan, Gayana* lived in a broken, drafty apartment with no means to keep out the winter cold, and it was not uncommon for refugees to elevate their mattresses on wooden planks to keep them off the water puddled on floors.
The Bibles and literature were in her own language, but Gayana thought they would best be used to help burn the wood and coals in her cast-iron, potbellied stove.
“My house was cold, and my little girl was cold,” she said. “In the evening, I took the wood and tore off the Bible pages and threw them into the stove, and they started to burn.”
As she sat down and took her little girl into her arms, among the burning pages she saw a passage from the Gospel of Matthew; she read Christ’s teaching not to be anxious about what to eat, drink or wear, but to seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:25-34).
“When I read those words, I started thinking that these were real words – everything was under God’s control, and only He could give me everything,” she said.
She took one of the unburned Bibles and began reading.
“The words of God warmed both my body and my soul,” she said.
When she next returned to the church for the aid distributed by local missionaries, her conscience was singed, especially as she knew the Bibles she’d taken had been the last ones on the stand that day. When the ministry leader learned that she was from Afghanistan, he told her she could have as much food and other aid as she needed.
“My eyes filled with tears,” Gayana said. “God told me, ‘I’ll feed you,’ and He really sustained me through the church.”
Within months, Gayana put her faith in Christ and was baptized, and since then she has made a habit of inviting other Afghan refugees to her home, cooking for them, helping to heal their emotional wounds and proclaiming the gospel to them, the ministry leader said.
“That’s how I like to serve the God who loves me so much,” Gayana said. “I have lived with spiritual hunger and thirst for many years, but now God has fed me. I can’t keep this joy inside me, and I want to tell others about it.”
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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission