It was early morning and, as usual, Jaslene* had risen before dawn to make breakfast. The sun filtered through the fronds of the palm tree in the front yard as she prepared rice, vegetables, and dried fish. It seemed like a perfect day on the island of Mindoro, Philippines.
Jaslene’s husband, Antonio, was enjoying the view from their small veranda when, suddenly, the peace was shattered by rapid gunfire coming from all sides. Antonio jumped to his feet and rushed inside, grabbing his own assault weapon. He was no stranger to war. As a communist guerilla fighter, he and his wife had seen some fierce battles. Now, the constant spray of bullets could mean only one thing—the government soldiers had ambushed them.
Antonio ran out the front door, and Jaslene grabbed the children and escaped through the back door, making a dash for cover in the jungle.
As a communist rebel fighter herself, Jaslene usually felt no fear about these repeated encounters. But on this day, the bullets came thicker and faster than ever before, and she couldn’t help but wonder whether her husband would survive.
Finally, when all was quiet, Jaslene and her children returned home. To their dismay, they learned that Antonio had been killed and carted off by the government soldiers. How Jaslene hated them! She decided then and there to raise her children to be the best fighters possible to avenge their father’s death.
The oldest boy was only 10 when this happened, and by the time he turned 13, he had joined the guerillas. Jaslene was proud of him. She taught the younger children how to sneak through the jungle without making a sound, how to forage for food, and how to be sharpshooters. They looked forward to the day when they could fight in real battles.
But one day, when Jaslene was home listening to her small FM radio, she turned the dial and paused on an unfamiliar station. The strains of a song she didn’t know but found strangely appealing filled her small hut: “Coming again, coming again, Jesus is coming again!”
Then a man’s voice came on the air and began to talk about a man named Jesus. This Jesus was kind, loving, and all-powerful. He could heal the sick and even raise the dead. Jaslene was fascinated!
Jaslene began tuning in daily to this new station called Adventist World Radio (AWR). Her heart began to melt as she heard of a God who loved her and offered her care and forgiveness. A desire grew within her to experience a new kind of life. She decided to accept Jesus as her Savior, put down her weapons, and try to forgive her enemies. Soon, her children began listening to the program with her. All of them are now baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
When Jaslene met Pastor Dulay, the speaker for Adventist World Radio on the island of Mindoro, she asked him with tears in her eyes, “Pastor, why did it take you so long to come and tell us this good news about God and His will for our lives? If only you had started broadcasting sooner, my husband would have given up his rebel-fighting ways before it was too late. He never had the chance to learn this beautiful truth.”
She then added, “This broadcast must go to other villages all over the mountains! They, too, need to hear about Jesus before it is too late for them!”
Today, Jaslene and her children have found joy and forgiveness to replace the hatred in their hearts. AWR has helped this little family with financial assistance to start a small business. Now, Jaslene and her children make brooms and sell them in the market to support themselves. They encourage their friends to trade their bullets for Bibles and find that Jesus brings true joy and meaning to their lives. They are now warriors of a different order. Their new weapons are faith, love, hope, and prayer as delivered to them on the airwaves of AWR.
*Names have been changed.
Adventist World Radio (AWR) is the international broadcast ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Programs are currently available in more than 100 languages via shortwave, AM/FM, on demand, podcasts, Call-to-Listen service, solar audio players, social media, and cell phone evangelism. AWR’s mission is to bring the gospel to the hardest-to-reach people of the world in their own languages. To watch AWR mission stories, visit M360.tv/awr.
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