"A prayer started in my heart" ~Tabitha's Story
Tabitha* and her husband Mamun* are among the most faithful missionaries with whom Harvest Bridge has the privilege of partnering. Not only is their ministry bold in the midst of opposition in Bangladesh, but their marriage is a beautiful example of Christ.They share deep respect for each other and carry out their ministry and parenting hand in hand. Out of our network of indigenous partners, they may also be the most consistently persecuted. We have been blessed by Voice of the Martyrs in responding to some of their persecution. In the following weeks, we will share pieces of their story, both the pain and triumphs in Christ.
Here is Tabitha's testimony:
"I came from a Christian family and my parents lived as true Christians, but I was an indomitable girl. I did not care about the Christian life and or its lessons; nothing could attract me to Christianity, and my parents were very unhappy. I continued my school education where I sometimes did destructive activities in the class so the teachers were often reporting about me to my parents.
After I passed my secondary school certificate exams, my parents became busy preparing for my marriage. I didn't care about my parents decision, and I was still living without Christ, happy not to be under Christian bondage. But I still attended church on occasions likes Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter.
When I was 20, I attended the Good Friday worship service. The pastor was preaching about Christ's sacrifice for sinners on the cruel cross. This sermon was very long and went through heart breaking sentences for the sinner, and then Luke 23:43: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise”, which was spoken to the thief. I then saw in my heart that He died on the cross for me and He forgives me with His love.
I realized the sinner must turn away from their sins to Jesus. I was thinking very much in my heart and praying with tears and remembering all my sins. The pastor had an interval after the sermon and then we began singing a hymn.
A prayer started in my heart and it soon broke me with tears and more tears as I repented of my sins. I could not stop my prayer, and as I prayed I felt someone call me by name, Tabitha. They said stand up and go to the pastor and your parents and beg pardon for your sins against them. So with tears I obeyed His voice. I was confessing my sins in front of all the people who come to worship that Good Friday.
After I acknowledged my sins one by one, the pastor asked each and every person to raise up their right hand toward me; they prayed and gave thanks to the Lord for my faith. From there I felt in my heart that I became a Christian in my heart through His forgiveness. I took holy Baptism a few months later with six others, and so I was born again in the Lord in 1989. And still today I have been continuing my life through His blessings."
In addition to discipling many women and teens, leading multiple prayer groups, church planting with her husband, and being a mother, Tabitha has led over 100 individuals to Christ in less than three years, since we began supporting her and Mamun. This is all in the midst of severe persecution, which will be the focus of future posts. Next week come back to learn about her husband's testimony!
Thank you for your prayers!*Names changed for safety