By Rhonda Hayward
“Before she became a Christian, Martha killed some of my children through sorcery. But now we are sisters in Christ and I don’t have any bad feelings toward her. Christ has forgiven me and I have forgiven Martha.” These amazing words were spoken by our good friend Druk. She is the wife of Gabriel, the Tay preacher who helped establish the first church amongst the Tay people. During the teen mission trip in April, Druk, in the presence of Martha, gave the above testimony to Carissa and a few of her friends as they were sitting talking together one afternoon.
Martha, now an exuberant Christian, was indeed an ex-sorceress. She readily testifies that she used sorcery to kill many Tay babies and children. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul enumerates various past sinful lifestyles held by the Corinthians. Then he says, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”. Paul’s words are true for Martha, as well as for each one of us.
Though we knew Martha’s past, when Carissa and friends returned to the house and shared with us what Druk had said, we were amazed. We had not realized the depth of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation the Lord had done in the lives of these women. These words are a powerful testimony of God’s supernatural grace at work in the lives of the Tay recently to bring about the fruit of forgiveness and reconciliation.
In March, we held a scripture use course, requested by the Tay, on unity. It was a delight to realize that many of the scriptures on unity in the Bible are from the recently translated books of Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians into Tay. How even more delightful to see the truth of those verses “translated” into the very lives of the Tay and see the fruit of unity evidenced, as in the lives of Martha and Druk.
Druk’s testimony was a great encouragement to me, but also a great challenge. May God’s forgiveness and reconciliation be richly displayed in how I love and forgive others.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14
Rhonda is the wife of Steve Hayward. Steve is a Bible translator serving among the Tay people group. They are nearing the completion of the Tay New Testament.