A Drug Dealer Finds Peace
Lemiarana is a 45-year-old married father of 9, and he and his family live in a rainforest village of Madagascar. He made a farming pact with a friend to grow tobacco, but over time they both succumbed to the temptation to grow a more illicit plant: marijuana. "I became a drug dealer, and I also consumed a good portion of these drugs myself," he says matter-of-factly.
This became his routine for years: going to the marketplace, and selling his drugs and alcohol. "Sometimes I'd get arrested by the local authorities, but most of the time I was able to get out of it by bribing them with money," he remembers. "I became so addicted to marijuana and drinking, that even in that cell I knew I was on the wrong path."
A local church leader recognized Lemiarana's need for hope. "This pastor challenged me with the Gospel every time he saw me in the marketplace," he says. Lemiarana knew his life was off track. "I asked my father what I should do. He told me to embrace the Project Philip Bible studies, that I should go," he reveals. "So, I decided to join the ministry, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior."
In no time at all, Lemiarana gave up his bad habits; he also convinced his wife and nine children to attend the Project Philip Bible studies as well. "We will never stop attending this Bible study. We appreciate your support so much; it brought us new life in Christ Jesus." Lemiarana is full of joy for another reason as well---he has become a preacher himself, working for the church in his village.