“Your mother had four abortions—she should have had five!” Those stinging words from Kathleen’s uncle pierced her wounded soul. Born prematurely after her drunk mother fell off a barstool, Kathleen never lived one day without pain. Her health problems—cerebral palsy, hearing loss, underdeveloped lungs, degenerative spine (all attributable to her mother’s addictions and neglect)—paled in comparison to the emotional turmoil that wracked her mind. Abandoned at two weeks old, raised in a children’s home, adopted, rejected, abandoned again, and adopted a second time—Kathleen’s roller-coaster life was nothing but physical and emotional pain!
At the age of 21 after the death of her aunt (surrogate mother), hopelessness engulfed Kathleen. Spiraling into an emotional abyss, she sought comfort at a bar. Her lack of abstinence produced a raging alcohol addiction and a baby girl that she relinquished at birth.
The Zarris family met Kathleen, age 24, in 1972. “She was the angriest, bitterest person I have ever met,” Barbara Zarris recalled. Kathleen made a profession of faith, attended church for a time, and then disappeared for 9 years.
On December 26, 1983, Kathleen came to the end of herself. The cumulative pain of her physical handicaps, her emotional addictions, and her life choices compelled her to take her own life. As she swallowed an entire bottle of aspirin and slit her wrists, she prayed, “God, please forgive my sin; I don’t want to go to Hell!”
When Kathleen awoke the next day, she was obviously not in Heaven! Lying in a pool of blood, totally deaf, and with a splitting headache, Kathleen mumbled, “God, I can’t even kill myself and do it right! What do I do now?”
That simple question began an excruciating two-year journey back to sobriety. Almost immediately, friends noticed the subtle changes. “Something has happened to you, Kathleen. You’re different! You’re quieter now!”
“I was different,” Kathleen reminisced, “but not by my own doing. I tried to serve two masters, and I was ripped apart. When I finally surrendered my anger and bitterness to God, the pieces fit together. I went back to church and never missed a service. The Holy Spirit changed me; all I did was let Him!”
Years passed. In the confines of Kathleen’s home (an assisted-living facility), Kathleen’s excellent spirit was legendary. She lived out her Christianity with a glowing countenance and a merry heart. “I am not in control of my life,” Kathleen observed. “I will always be afflicted, but with a merry heart, I can have a continual feast. It’s like a birthday party every day!”
Kathleen’s generosity was also renowned. Existing on a meager government stipend, Kathleen gave to God and others unceasingly. For years, CRI benefited from her sacrificial generosity. “It’s only $10!” Kathleen would bemoan, as if it were insignificant.
“Ten dollars is enormous!” Barbara Zarris informed her. “It pays for one hour on a CRI radio station anywhere in the world! You choose one hour every month and ask God ‘This is my hour. Could all who get saved go on my account?’”
“Can I do that?” Kathleen questioned.
“Of course!” Barbara affirmed. “You are praying for the fruit; you are giving for the fruit. The fruit of your sacrifice belongs to you!”
On November 15, 2021, Kathleen’s life changed forever. For the first time in 74 years, she walked without crutches. Her congested lungs filled with air. Her back straightened, and her joints moved without pain. With indescribable joy, she fell on her face and worshiped Jesus, the Saviour, Who made it all possible.
Then Kathleen saw something else—converts from all over the world—her converts—the cumulative result of dozens of insignificant $10 monthly gifts that produced hundreds of miraculous conversions. I can only imagine Kathleen’s amazed response:
“WOW! ALL THIS FOR ONLY $10!”
Evangelism in Egypt is continuing, as Christian Media International (Eddie Wilson) and Independent Baptist Media (Gene Sharp) have built a television production studio in ______. A host of Arabic Christian television programs are scheduled to be produced from this facility.
Dr. E___ F___ has continued to train Egyptian pastors, plant churches, conduct Pastors’ Schools, and develop children’s ministries.
IRAN AND AFGHANISTAN
M___ G___, CRI’s Iranian preacher, has been broadcasting on satellite television and radio for four years. Using Skype, M___ has led to Christ and discipled dozens of Persian-speaking converts. He has created an online Persian Bible college to train men to become pastors and church planters in their own “restricted” countries. In 2022, M___, his family, and a convert, A___, will spend three months planting a church in A___’s “closed” nation. Please pray for this endeavor.
I___ A___ (Persian Satellite Television) has reported a record number of conversions for 2021—22,000—more than two times the yearly conversions of the last decade. All these Iranian, Afghan, and Tajik converts have dared to accept Christ, despite the threat of persecution or death.
Muslim convert E___ was overwhelmed with the gift of money for his business and college tuition. He thanks all who sacrificed to meet his needs.
Christian Radio International