Marina lives in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. She is married to her second husband and is raising her daughter. She works as a cleaner in a bank. Her first marriage was difficult.
“After I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, my husband suddenly and without any reason told me he didn’t want me nor the baby. It was a great shock to me. Nothing could change his mind, so we divorced,” she shares.
However, Marina’s life changed for the better when she met another man. “We married and have been together until now. We live a happy life, although I didn’t have children with him.”
Another change was about to happen in Marina’s life, which would be even more profound. The Evangelical Alliance in Juba organized an evangelism outreach named ‘Go 2021’ in the city’s streets, hospitals, and public places. Bible League’s representative in South Sudan, Pastor Emmanuel, supported the event by providing Scripture materials and Bibles. That’s how he met Marina.
“In January 2020, I suffered from severe headaches and general body pains,” she explains. “In Maridi, we don’t have proper healthcare. I had to move to Juba, which is 183 miles from where I live, to be treated in one of the hospitals. Early 2021, when I was in the hospital for a check-up, Pastor Emmanuel and his team shared the Gospel with me. They invited me to join a Project Philip Bible study group. In addition to seeking medicine for my body, I found healing for my soul when I met Jesus Christ in Juba.”
Marina was born in a nominal Christian family. According to the traditions in South Sudan, Christian babies are baptized when they are one or two years old. In many cases, it’s a mere ritual, meaning that a baptized person isn’t necessarily a believer. However, Marina accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior when she was still young. She used to go to the church in her village.
“Although I was a Christian,” she continues, “I didn’t have a good relationship with God due to the lack of trained church leaders who taught the true Word of God. Each time I read the Holy Bible, I didn’t understand what God wanted to say. The Bible study opened my eyes to a new understanding of the Word of God. I was so happy I had a leader who explained the Word of God to me. I can now read my Bible and enjoy it.”
Soon, Marina became involved in the church’s ministry in Juba, where she joined the Bible study group.
“I’m serving the ladies and mothers in our church where we receive teaching about the Word and topics related to women,” she explains.
Now, Marina is looking forward to the day she will be fully recovered to return to her hometown.
“I’m staying in Juba as long as I need treatment, but I pray and hope to bring the Gospel to the mothers in my church in Maridi soon,” she says.
Marina is very grateful for what God has done in her life. “I was blind to the Truth. But now, my eyes and mind are enlightened and opened to the Word of God. I can easily look up chapters and verses in the Bible because of the Bible study skills. Thank you for your love and care. You encouraged me to follow Christ,” she beams.