A Strange Light
Ruth Jereh sang heartily as she walked home from the bar in her hometown, Mazabuka, in southern Zambia.
It was Friday evening, and she had spent the entire day drinking beer.
Suddenly a blinding light appeared in front of her. The light hung in space, and Ruth stared at it in frightened amazement, not knowing where it had come from and where it would go. Her song stuck in her throat, and she instantly became sober. Then the light vanished.
Trembling, Ruth made her way home.
She didn’t say anything to her husband or 14 children that night, but she broke her silence in the morning.
“Honey”, she told her husband. “Yesterday, on my way back home, I saw a big light that scared me”.
“Stop drinking beer”, her husband replied. “This could be God talking to you”.
Later that day, a Dorcas worker visited Ruth’s home and invited her to an Adventist church meeting. With the previous night’s experience fresh in her mind, Ruth went with her husband.
Ruth had been raised in an Adventist home but left the church after marrying her husband, who belonged to another denomination. He played the saxophone in bars, and for years she sold homemade food as he played. Afterward, they would drink for hours.
It got to the point that Ruth would drink from morning until evening and forget her young children at the bar.
Drinking was part of Ruth’s life, and she struggled to quit after seeing the bright light. For two weeks, she woke up at night, frightened and weeping. “God, the life that I am living has caused me to neglect my children”, she said. “Help me to stop drinking beer”.
Then one day she lost all desire for alcohol.
Townspeople were stunned to see her sober. They knew how she had been before, and they asked which roots she had taken under the witchdoctor’s direction to give up drinking.
“How did you stop drinking beer?” said one. “Give us the root that helped you to stop”, said another.
Ruth replied to everyone, “The medicine that I used was prayer”.
Ruth also has used the power of prayer to win over her family for Christ. She was baptized and, through her influence, 10 family members also have been baptized, including her husband.
“I always thank God in my prayers for allowing my family and me to start worshipping”, said Ruth, 62. “Worshipping God is very important in life”.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org
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