Mama Nerea lay on her thin mattress in her humble home in western Kenya. Her family suspected that her suffering was the result of witchcdraft, a curse that someone had put on her. They visited several witchdoctors, seeking to have the curse removed, but Mama Nerea continued to languish. The illness had left her unable to stand or walk, and had taken her voice as well. Even she was sure she would die.
Mama Nerea’s life had been filled with trouble. Her husband had gone to seek work in a nearby town, leaving her to care for her children alone. Desperate to make money, she began brewing and selling local beer. Soon she was addicted to her own brew. When her husband returned from town, he drank with her.
Then she became ill.
One day as Mama Nerea lay on her bed, she saw three men surround the bed. One man wore a white robe. He spoke her name and comforted her. Then he told her that she would be saved the next day.
“Koa kanye, koa kuom ng‘a?” Mama Nerea asked. “Saved from what and where?” The man in the white robe told her that the next day she would meet two men who would lead her out of her bondage and pain and into the light of Jesus. “You must never go back into the darkness again,” he said.
Mama Nerea nodded.
Mama Nerea’s daughter was startled to hear her mother’s voice. “Who are you talking to?” she asked her mother.
“Jesus has visited me,” Mama Nerea said.
The next day two young men came to visit Mama Nerea. They told her that God had told them to come and pray with her. The young men were holding evangelistic meetings. They came regularly to pray with Mama Nerea and her family.
Soon after this Mama Nerea’s daughter found her mother standing in the door of the hut. Over the next few months Mama Nerea’s health returned, and she began visiting the small Adventist group in their settlement. Her husband, Johana, stopped smoking and drinking and gave his heart to the Lord.
Mama Nerea and Johana became strong supporters of God’s work and led many to Christ in their village. Recently Johana died, and Mama Nerea is getting old. But their testimony and their example live on in the lives of many who have found Christ in a small town in western Kenya.
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Vicki Nakabayashi met Moses, the son of Mama Nerea, on a mission trip to Kenya.