Almost two months ago, a sixty-two year old woman (let’s call her ‘Maud’) was brought to my parents’ house by her daughter. She was in pain and was looking for Pastor Quinton to pray for her, but he was not home, so she came to my mom. My mom prayed with her and the Lord answered by giving her immediate relief from the pain. The relief was so immediate that ‘Maud’ was amazed, after she had been in pain the whole day and throughout the previous night.
My mom proceeded to challenge her with the Gospel and explained to her the need of her soul. She told my mom that she had rejected God throughout her life and my mom shared with her the Good News that God will not reject those who come to Jesus in humble repentance and faith. My mom told her to bow her knees before the Lord and confess her sins and ask God to save her. ‘Maud’ left rejoicing in her salvation and, from that day on, referred to the Lord that she had been rejecting throughout her life as “my Jesus.”
My mom, together with my wife and the ladies of our church, started discipling ‘Maud’ and daily we could see the Lord’s grace upon her. Then ‘Maud’s’ health started deteriorating. She struggled with breathing and kept complaining about her stomach. She could not eat without having tremendous pain. We finally got her to a hospital and she was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. For several days she slept at my parents’ place, and some nights at Pastor Quinton’s house. It was good for her to be with believers who could share God’s word and pray with her continually.
The morning of 20 September, she asked to be taken to my parent’s house again. She was asking to see my mom. My mom had prepared a room for her for the nights when she slept over. That morning, while she was lying in bed, too weak to sit up, my wife was singing with her “The Lord is my Shepherd.” I read Psalm 23 to her and encouraged her in the Lord and prayed for her. She was so full of joy!
My mom said that ‘Maud’ told her that morning that she was going to be with her Jesus. Some of the other ladies from our church also came to encourage her and to sing hymns. They were all in good spirits, with ‘Maud’ smiling and laughing. With all the ladies in the room, my wife proceeded to bath her, and while all were laughing and talking, ‘Maud’ breathed out her last. What an amazing way to meet your Maker, or as she put it, meet “her Jesus.”
This is the amazing grace of our Lord for the worst of sinners. Amongst the worst in our community, ‘Maud’ was considered the scum of the earth. ‘Maud’ and her husband used to be some of the biggest drug dealers in the Western Cape. Everybody knows her history. All her kids were introduced to drugs by her and worked for the family business. She sold her only daughter into prostitution from a young age. We buried her son a few years ago, who died screaming from a drug overdose while my wife tried to help him.
Her daughter is still on drugs. She told my wife that it is because of her mother that she is the way she is, because her mother introduced her to this lifestyle. Charlene told her that her mother did not just introduce her to that dark life, but during these two months her mother also introduced her to Jesus. She agreed that Jesus had changed her mom and that she could not deny it. Please keep praying for this young woman.
Maud had a lot of blood on her hands. Like the thief on the cross next to Jesus, she squandered her life with no regard for God or others. People still tell horror stories about her. We had shared the Gospel with her and the drug addicts in her house several times over many years, but she continued to reject the Gospel. About two months ago, our gracious God providentially led her to my mom who lovingly and boldly shared the Gospel with her and surrounded her with saints who once also frequented her drug den. For almost two months she experienced the love of a gracious God through His church in full view of her family and a community who knew where she came from. What a God-glorifying Gospel witness!
What a privilege to be part of such amazing work God is doing in our community. This is why we persevere, because God not only did this for ‘Maud,’ He did it for so many of us.