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A New Family for a Mother and Her Son
“Life is all about suffering,” Bulah once said. At least, it seemed that way for her and her son, Emil.
Bulah had left her home village to pursue a dream—a dream of getting a good job and providing for Emil to get a good education. But in their new city, surrounded by towering hills, colorful buildings and crowds of people, Bulah and Emil were on their own, and her dream clashed with stark realities. Bulah had no husband present to help her provide for her son, and as an illiterate woman, she struggled to find good work. Emil’s heart broke to see his mother labor alone for him.
“If my father had stayed with us, my mother would not have toiled for my stomach and education,” Emil says. “We would have had a happy family.”
Though mother and son had each other, Bulah’s love and hard work couldn’t meet all their needs. Could the two of them make it on their own?
Becoming a Single Mother
Bulah hailed from a remote, hillside village that lacked development. Raised in a poor farming family, she grew up helping with domestic chores instead of going to school. Sadly, this lack of education, while very common in the developing world, would greatly hinder Bulah’s opportunities in the future.
Bulah, like many other women without education or options, started a different life path. Bulah got married at 18, but her marriage would prove heartbreaking. A strange, debilitating illness soon disrupted Bulah’s life. Sometimes she fell unconscious. Sometimes she abruptly ran out of a room. People said an evil spirit had possessed her.
Eventually Bulah gave birth to Emil, but the family’s happiness was short-lived. When Emil was only 18 months old, Bulah’s husband decided he didn’t want to deal with her illness. So he left. After four years of marriage, Bulah became a single mother.
Pursuing a Dream, Losing a Dream
In need of support, Bulah took her son and moved back in with her mother. She toiled hard to provide and care for Emil, but it was difficult to earn a living in her village, and she wanted Emil to have things her village couldn’t offer—such as a quality education. She didn’t want him to be illiterate and uneducated as she was.
So, after a few years, Bulah and Emil moved to the large capital city nearby with hopes of finding a good job that could fund a quality education—a path to a bright future for Emil. Unfortunately, those hopes soon began to dissolve.
“When I came to [the] city, I struggled a lot to find a good job,” Bulah says. “I tried to find easy and good job, but I could not. So [I] started to work as a laborer for daily bread.”
Bulah toiled in daily labor jobs and domestic work, and her health problems continued. Sadness clouded Emil’s heart as he watched his mother wear herself out.
If Bulah wasn’t well, she couldn’t earn money, so she sought various medical treatments to improve her health. Nothing worked. She only lost more time and more money, and her bouts of unconsciousness threatened her safety at work. One day, disaster struck.
“One day, I was painting the wall while standing on a drum,” Bulah remembers. “While painting, I fell down to the ground and got injured badly on my waist. Due to that, I was unable to work, as well as stand, for many days. At that time, my condition was really pathetic. I faced economic crisis. … To live, I borrowed money from friends.”
During times like this, when Bulah couldn’t work, Emil had to stay home from school to assist her and cook meals for the two of them. This wasn’t what Bulah had hoped for Emil. She had worked so hard to give him education, and now he was having to sacrifice days in school for her sake. And even when Bulah was able to work, she still couldn’t purchase all the items Emil needed for daily life or school. With just the two of them, would they ever be able to make ends meet and live abundant, joyful lives? Would there ever be an end to their suffering? Was there anyone who could help?
A Life-Changing Suggestion
One day, Bulah’s friend had a life-changing suggestion for her. The friend, who wasn’t even a Christian, told Bulah many people found healing after visiting GFA pastor Lazaro’s church.
“Why don’t you visit the church once?” Bulah’s friend asked. “You have undergone several treatments but did not receive healing. I will give you the contact number of the pastor. Talk and share your problem with him.”
With nothing to lose, Bulah called Pastor Lazaro and told him about her situation. He and his wife visited Bulah the next day to pray for her. When they began to pray, however, Bulah vomited and tried to flee the room. Emil and Bulah’s brother both held Bulah so the pastor and his wife could pray for her. Afterward, something shifted. Bulah seemed to have control of her faculties again. Pastor Lazaro and his wife invited her to visit their church.
Excited to learn more, Bulah and her son attended a worship service. Pastor Lazaro and his congregation prayed for her and continued praying for her. After some weeks, they saw a miracle take place: Bulah’s debilitating health issues disappeared. With new faith in the God who had healed her, Bulah began to follow Christ. She joined the church, learned from God’s Word, and found a new family in Christ.
Healed and delivered, Bulah stopped falling ill and having bouts of unconsciousness. Her troubles didn’t completely vanish, though. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulah lost her job, and she struggled to make ends meet. She couldn’t pay for Emil’s school fees. Yet her new family stepped in to help. When the Women’s Fellowship at her church learned about her problem, they prayed for her and assisted her financially. The church also provided rations to Bulah and Emil multiple times during the pandemic.
In addition to helping meet Bulah and Emil’s basic needs, some fellow believers have also helped fund Emil’s education. Now Emil has hope to complete his studies, graduate from school and one day provide for his mother. Though he doesn’t have a father in his life, he does have the support of a loving church and the guidance of a caring pastor.
Bulah and Emil experienced abandonment and hardship, but now they are no longer alone. They have a new family in Christ. They thank God for the prayers and support of their church, and Bulah wants others to know the same love that has changed their lives.
“I pray that every person would know Christ,” Bulah says. “Since my childhood, I went through pain and suffering. But the Lord Jesus has released me from all problems. I really want many people to know the Lord through my testimony and get rid of the bondage of all problems as well as have a new life in Christ.”
Help More People Experience New Life
Many people are still waiting to experience the joy of new life that Bulah has found, and many widows, single mothers and orphaned or abandoned children are waiting to experience the love and care of Christ and His Church.
You can partner with GFA missionaries to offer eternal hope and tangible help to people like Bulah and Emil. Through your support, these missionaries and their congregations can show Christ’s love in word and deed to widows, single mothers and orphaned or abandoned children in practical ways, such as offering friendship and guidance, giving income-generating tools or livestock or providing food and shelter. Best of all, your partnership will help these women and children to understand they have a Father in heaven who sees them and cares for them.
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