Middle East (Frontiers) — Word of Gulzhan’s traitorous decision spread quickly through the village.
She had been studying the Word of God with a Frontiers field worker when, one day, Jesus met her in a dream. From that point on, Gulzhan devoted herself to following Him.
But living in a village where Islam is deeply embedded in the people’s hearts and minds meant that she faced stiff resistance from her community.
As winter rolled around, the cold weather drove villagers off the streets and into their warm homes. Now, Gulzhan rarely had to meet the disapproval of her neighbors when she went out to the market.
But the worst of the persecution came from her husband, Elemes. He felt shamed by Gulzhan’s new faith in Jesus and turned violently angry towards her. Whenever he saw her reading the Word, he would beat Gulzhan, pulling her by the hair across the floor while yelling curses at her and insulting her Savior. Elemes’ anger towards his wife burned unabated.
One day, as Gulzhan was reading her Bible and singing songs of praise, Elemes drug her from the house and threw her out into the snow. He left her there in the cold with no shoes and no coat.
This couldn’t keep her from praising her Lord, though. “God had so filled my heart with His Spirit and joy,” Gulzhan says, “that I simply continued singing and didn’t feel the cold as I searched out a place to stay.”
Elemes eventually let her return home, but his anger and the beatings continued. Gulzhan stood strong, trusting in the knowledge that God had accepted her even if her husband did not. She read daily from the Word and experienced strength, sustenance, and courage in these times.
Almost a year had passed like this when, one night, Elemes woke up in a panic. “I can’t move!” he screamed. Paralysis had overtaken his body.
Elemes languished in his paralysis, and after a several days, God started to fill his heart with a holy fear.
Then, one night, God revealed to Elemes in a dream that his paralysis was because he had been speaking against Jesus.
Within a week, Elemes repented and asked his wife Gulzhan to bring others from her small fellowship of believers to pray for him.
The healing of Elemes’ body wasn’t immediate. But God has gradually restored his upper body, and Elemes now has full use of his arms.
Meanwhile, Elemes’ anger toward Gulzhan and his hatred of Jesus have been dramatically transformed. He has become his wife’s strongest ally in the Gospel, and he has also become a steadfast disciple of Jesus Christ.
Pray for this couple, that their radical faith in the Savior would draw many in this hostile village to Him.