Lily grew up in a country that continues to be, in her words, “a dark place of idolatry.” Christianity is, at best, barely tolerated, and many Christians find themselves facing jail or death.
Born into a non-Christian family, Lily was only five when both of her parents died. She and her four siblings were brought up as orphans. As a teenager, she met Norbu, a man 27 years her senior. He paid for her schooling, and they married.
Her husband came from a Christian background, and Lily desperately wanted to know more about Bible truth. She begged Norbu to let her take Bible studies, but he denied her request, saying that only church leaders needed to read the Bible. She said, “I kept quiet and obeyed him, but I was not satisfied to just go to church on Sunday and only listen to the leaders.”
Twenty years went by, and Lily felt she still knew nothing about the Bible. One day, she met an Adventist woman named Kiba, and they became fast friends. Kiba introduced Lily to Tim Saxton—Adventist World Radio’s contact in that country—who was looking to have Adventist World Radio Bible lessons translated into the local language.
Lily accepted the translation job, in part because she needed the money for her son’s schooling. She was given a Bible and a set of lessons. Her first challenge was that she had no idea how to use a keyboard for that language. Although she knew how to speak it, she hadn’t learned to type it, but within a week she was fluent.
The first topic she had to translate was “Daniel’s Prophecies.” And from the outset, she felt conflicted. She wanted to do a good job, but what she was reading from the Bible contradicted many of her religious traditions.
As she continued to read, she was overcome by a high fever. As she lay in bed, she felt like evil spirits were whispering in her ear, saying, “Do not open the Bible; you will die!” She wouldn’t listen to them and instead opened her Bible to find words that would make the spirits go away—so that she “would not die but have everlasting life in Christ.” As she read, it felt like someone was punching her in the back, but she did not give up. Four days later, with her friend Kiba praying fervently by her side, her fever broke.
Lily continued to feel confused by what she was learning, so Adventist World Radio volunteered to send someone to help her with the translation. Selma arrived soon after and started studying the Bible with her. They would stay up until one o’clock in the morning, and Lily finally got the Bible studies she had hoped for all her life. It was transformative. “As I translated word by word, line by line, I was converted,” Lily said.
She wanted to get baptized, but her husband was not on board. He would drink until late at night, and Lily would spend hours praying that he would stop drinking and come to the truth.
Around this time, an Adventist veterinarian named Ken moved his family into the area, and he asked Lily if she could help teach them the local language. Norbu greatly respected the veterinarian, so Lily asked Ken if he would speak with her husband and encourage him to stop drinking and attend church.
Even though Norbu wouldn’t listen to his wife when she tried to talk to him about spiritual things, Lily could tell Ken what her husband would most benefit from hearing each week. Little by little, Norbu came to the truth as well. Their entire family started studying the Bible together. In 2019, Lily, Norbu, and their son were baptized in a remote location of this veiled country.
Since then, Lily has seen a complete change in her husband. He no longer drinks. It still means so much to her that they were baptized together. She said, “One stick can break more easily, but since there are three of us—three sticks—we are strong, and no one can break us.”
Lily sends her heartfelt thanks to all who support Adventist World Radio projects in countries like hers. Now her life’s work is to reach others in this veiled country. “Jerusalem is done. Now I want to go to Judea. Then Samaria. I just want to reach as far as I can with the Bible truth I have learned, which has changed my life!”
Adventist World Radio (AWR) is the international radio ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. AWR’s mission is to bring the gospel to the hardest-to-reach people of the world in their own languages. To watch incredible stories just like Lily’s, visit Adventist World Radio at awr.org/video.
Thank you for supporting AWR through your mission offerings and World Budget offerings!