“I am old now, and why should I reject my faith and accept [another] religion at this age?” he asked his son. “Do you want to follow it? I have no problem. Be a good person.”
However, the conversation of Christianity repeated over time. Perhaps it was the respect Byurak displayed toward his father, even during these discussions. Perhaps it was how his son and other believers treated those around them with kindness and compassion. Perhaps it was a combination or something different altogether. Whatever the reason, something in Donatus’s heart shifted, and he began to follow Christ. His family pushed back. Then pushed harder when tragedy struck the family.
Difficult Times Try a Man’s Faith
Donatus’ third son, Crepin, had also chosen to walk with Christ, but one month later, he suddenly became paralyzed. Contention rose in the family as several members insisted Crepin be taken to witch doctors and sorcerers for healing, but Donatus stood firm in his new faith. He sincerely prayed for his son’s healing, believing the God of the Bible would intervene . . . and He did. God heard Donatus’ prayers, and through his miraculous mercy, He placed His healing hand upon Crepin and freed him from paralysis.
The trials were not over yet. Donatus had struggled with asthma for many years, but it grew worse, causing him severe problems, and his health deteriorated. Calling all his family around him, he bade them not to do the old cultural rituals after his death. He did not want his wife to be isolated as a widow; he did not want them to grieve him with the funeral practices of his past.
His eldest son, Jedrek, reassured him, “Nothing will happen to you. You will be alright. I will take you to get better treatment.”
But Donatus replied, “I want to be with God. I am eagerly waiting to see my God’s face. If you are willing to do something best for me, then receive Christ, and have faith in Him because He is our Saviour. If you do so … I can also die in peace.”
Jedrek had been against the Christian faith, but his father’s words gave him reason to pause. “If my father is telling me to receive Jesus, then what is the problem with it?” he thought. “He is aged, and he knows things better than me. If he is saying it, then it is for my better future.” At his father’s encouragement, Jedrek decided to embrace Christ!
In His mercy, God spared Donatus for a time, enabling him to lead his whole family to the Lord. He may have had many conversations with Jedrek about Christ and taught him how to be a spiritual leader because when Donatus passed away a few years later, Jedrek took on the spiritual responsibilities of the family. The strong example of his father would give Jedrek the strength and wisdom to lead his family in God’s Word.
The Ripple Effects of Faith
The road to this family’s salvation started with one son, Byurak, who believed in God and became a missionary. His strong belief rippled throughout his family, leading one of his sisters to become a GFA missionary as well. Together, they would minister to the community and demonstrate the hope and love of Christ as their father’s great faith in Jesus was a great testimony to all who would hear.
National missionaries often minister not only to their community but also to their own family members and loved ones who don’t yet know Christ. God works strongly through them, and the power of their testimony cannot be understated. Through them, many hear the name of the Lord and learn of Christ’s compassion and God’s great love. They witness the kindness of those who follow Him, and this may lead them to embrace Jesus and everlasting hope.
However, national missionaries need support to do what they do. No one can fulfill the Great Commission alone. You can support and help them to share the Good News with those who do not know His love.