‘We Are the Family of Hope’

In the midst of poverty, a woman and her daughter forsook their idols and clung to Jesus Christ.

In earthly terms, Lelo had very little—only a small, rented concrete room, a bed, and a few belongings.

Then the pandemic hit, and even those things were stripped away, as Lelo was unable to work or afford rent.

Throughout the outbreak, Zulu pastors from an ABWE daughter church in Durban, South Africa made house calls to provide spiritual encouragement and food to members like Lelo. It was on one such visit that they discovered Lelo living with her neighbor, Nhlanhla.

Nhlanhla, a kind and gentle woman, explained to the pastors that she had asked Lelo to move in because she needed a mother’s love. When Nhlanhla invited the pastors into her home, they found a plastic bag dangling from the ceiling—a talisman of ancestral worship believed to protect the household from the virus. Recognizing her need for Jesus, the pastors shared the gospel with Nhlanhla and her daughter, Temba.

A few days passed before the pastors returned and immediately noticed two things—the bag was no longer there, and three new faces crowded the room. Nhlanhla had invited her neighbors to hear the gospel as well.

Pastor Mzo and his wife talked with Nhlanhla, while two other pastors and their spouses spoke with Temba and the three guests.

Nhlanhla described to the pastors how the Holy Spirit had worked in her and Temba’s hearts. They confessed their sins to God and trusted in Christ alone for salvation.

The bag was no longer needed. They were safe in the arms of their Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lelo was overjoyed to be a part of this newly transformed, adoptive family. Pastor Mzo smiled at them and asked Nhlanhla, “So what do you call this new family of yours?”

After thinking for a moment, Nhlanhla replied confidently, “We are the family of hope.”

The Global Gospel Fund

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Kathy Ishler

Kathy Ishler is a missionary in Durban, South Africa, with her husband Darin and their three children Tyler, Ella, and Alexis. Kathy enjoys homeschooling their girls, helping with the children’s ministry in their local church, hosting visitors, and working towards her Biblical counseling certificate. Learn more about the Ishlers’ ministry.