A Nun's Prayer

Sandra, an Indian from Madagascar, was a young woman that had struggled for most of her life with severe, disgracing acne. As a teenager, her parents had tried every kind of medicine, eventually becoming desperate enough to pursue solutions based in local witchcraft traditions. Nothing worked. Eventually, Sandra encountered a group of Catholic nuns who prayed for her. Much to her astonishment, after this encounter, Sandra’s acne completely cleared up. Unable to deny the power of God she had so personally witnessed, she secretly converted from Hinduism to Christianity, withholding her decision from her family. Eventually, her parents found out, and reacted by saying to her, “Fine, but you will marry a Hindu man.”

a hut in the Tanzanian countryside
Sandra met Raymond, who decided to marry her, despite her faith in Christ. After many years of marriage and faithful prayer, Sandra led her husband to Christ. Raymond’s brother, Charles, and his wife, Nina, were furious about his conversion, and often became quite agitated and violent when Sandra and Raymond would come to family events. The relationship was very antagonistic, and eventually, Sandra and Raymond felt they had no choice but to avoid interactions with their siblings.

Not long after Raymond and Sandra made this decision, Nina began to have very disturbing dreams of snakes, and would often wake terrified. This continued for many months, and her health was suffering from the frightening dreams and lack of rest. One night, Sandra also found herself trapped in one of these disturbing dreams, not as a participant, but as a witness to Nina’s terror. In the dream, she shared many of the same visions Nina saw in her own sleep, but as an outside observer. She heard a voice she sensed was Christ telling her to go to her sister-in-law. When she woke, she was sure she had misunderstood the voice, believing her presence would only cause Nina more anxiety. She and Raymond decided it would be best to ignore the dream. Sandra felt no peace about her decision to stay away, and wrestled in her spirit for several weeks. Finally, after much prayer and discussion with her husband, Sandra decided to visit her sister-in-law and offer to pray with her, that the dreams would stop and she would find peace and rest.

She mustered her courage and went to Nina’s house. When Nina opened the door, Sandra told her she had come because God had told her to. Nina responded, “We know. We have been waiting for you for weeks.” This began a long dialogue between the four adults about the love, peace, and hope that comes with a relationship in Christ—a dialogue that resulted in the baptism of both Nina and her husband. The couples began attending church. During one Sunday, Billy was visiting and invited the congregation to begin discipleship classes with him. Charles responded, showing interest in being trained to reach out into the distinct Indian community of business owners so prevalent in this part of Tanzania, to help others grow in their love for Christ. He began meeting with Billy regularly.

After their conversions, the four were ostracized from their Hindu families and community of friends, but they consistently reached out for relationships with others, in hopes of bringing them to Christ. The four started meeting with others regularly, and out of these interactions a local group has begun meeting on a weekly basis, and has continued to grow. One member of the fellowship has been able to trace five generations of disciples, all under the leading and teaching of a man and his wife who were once outcasts in their own communities, but have become leaders because of one nun’s willingness to pray with a young girl over her skin—someone’s willingness to respond to someone who was ready to respond to God. Look at what God can do with our simple obedience!