Twin transformation

19 Aug, 2015 | North Africa
Nicole James
OM worker visits with friends at home in North Africa.
Tara*, a long-term worker in North Africa, had been on the field for about two years when she started praying for friends in her neighbourhood. Most of her friends lived in another suburb, a long, tiring bus-ride away.

One day, while getting into a taxi to visit a friend across town, Tara gave the driver instructions on where to go. Suddenly, a girl standing next to Tara said, in perfect English, “I’m going to the same place.” They started talking and realised their houses were located five minutes’ walking distance from each other.

“I’ve been praying for friends in my neighbourhood,” Tara told Sarah*, the local girl. So the two exchanged numbers and made plans to meet the next week. When Tara showed up, she met not only Sarah but also her twin sister, Nadia*, and her aunt, who was around the same age.

“We just hit it off,” Tara described. “We were just talking. I shared a little bit about how God had brought me to this region. It was just a very natural, easy friendship with all of the girls.”

As Tara was leaving the family’s house, Sarah unexpectedly opened up, sharing personal information about struggles usually kept hidden in her honour-shame society, seemingly testing Tara’s response.

“I’m not here to judge,” Tara told her. “I still think you’re an answer to prayer. I’m still interested in being friends.”

Tara continued to meet up with the girls and learnt that the twins, as creatives and artists, especially connected to the Psalms. Once while they were spending time together, Sarah picked a Psalm, created a melody on her guitar, and then put one of the verses to music.

“I’m not a singer,” Tara admitted, “but it was neat. She really connected with God in that way.”

Around the same time, the twins discovered a video series depicting Jesus’ life, which sparked a series of conversations about who He was. They began reading and discussing some of the parables together. Sarah, however, remained reserved.

“You could never tell what was going on with her,” Tara said. “I didn’t know if she was hearing anything I said, if it was making an impact.”

Time passed, and the women continued to meet. Tara also invited another worker to join the group, hoping her testimony would have fresh impact. Like before, the girls enjoyed reading the Psalms, praying for each other and asking God to encourage each other.

Tara went to her home country for a few months’ furlough. While she was gone, Sarah’s family found out about the challenges she’d been facing, compounding her struggles. Tara returned to the mess—Sarah suffering through a hard season, Nadia affected by her sister’s grief. One time Sarah visited Tara’s house, but “she couldn’t even tell me what was happening. She just cried,” Tara recalled.

Over time, the family issues slowly subsided. Sarah and Nadia told Tara they wanted to watch the Jesus film together. After they watched the movie, Sarah “had this crazy encounter with God,” Tara said. “Basically she came to my house the next day and was totally different. Her countenance just changed.”

“I can’t stop smiling. I can’t stop laughing,” Sarah told Tara.

Sarah didn’t fully understand everything then, Tara explained, but it was the solid beginning of her faith journey. “Her transformation was so obvious. It was just a freedom.” Nadia noticed, too, showing increased interest, asking more questions and, eventually, also becoming a believer.

“They’re pretty amazing, both of these girls. I know God has big things for them,” Tara stated. She knows, too, that the transformation she witnessed was a miraculous movement of God. “Not everybody, especially in [my country], has stories like this. It’s cool to see how God has done everything…I’ve just been along for the ride.”

Pray for the twins’ transformation to catalyse faith in their family and community.

*Name changed

Nicole James is a freelance journalist, ESL teacher and adventurer. A communications intern for OM MENA, she’s passionate about publishing the stories of God’s works among the nations, telling people about the wonderful things He is doing in the world.

Credit: Nicole James · © 2015 OM International This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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