By Richard Greene
Depression has many faces. It affects people in every corner of the globe and from all walks of life. Far too many come to despair of life itself.
For two men – one in Eastern Europe, the other in South Asia – hardships and trying circumstances weighed so heavily on them, they seriously contemplated suicide. When they were at death’s doorstep, each were approached by Christians who compassionately told them about lasting hope found only in Jesus Christ. And these two believers shared how these men could hear about this hope by listening to Thru the Bible programs in their respective language broadcast over TWR. Oh, how their lives have been changed!
Miloje* lives in Serbia and was completely broken when his wife passed away a few years ago. Then his daughter died in a car accident. His heartache was so pronounced that he was on the verge of ending his life.
“But then God performed miracles and sent a woman to my parents’ house at the right moment when I was there,” Miloje recalls. “She talked to us excitedly about the Christian radio program Thru the Bible.”
He asked her to write down the frequency of the program, which airs in the Serbian language. “After beginning to listen, my life changed,” Miloje says. He committed his life to Jesus and found comfort and peace in him. “He’s always with me now.”
One transformative message particularly stands out. The Bible lesson that day was from Acts 12, which describes how an angel freed Peter from jail before he was to go on trial. “All these experiences and troubles did not make the apostles and the first believers renounce Christ,” Miloje explains. “God is wonderful. He does wonders as He did at that time.”
Though his circumstances of losing his wife and daughter obviously did not change, Miloje’s perspective on life did. “God freed me from a spiritual dungeon, as he released Peter from a physical prison,” he says. “I believe that God rescued me when he sent that woman to talk about the Thru the Bible program. Now I am part of the body of Christ and the church. God deserves all the glory and worship.”
Mahesh,* a farmer in northern India, can also attest to how God’s Word has changed – and continues to change – his life. He grew up in a non-Christian background.
“Because of our extremely poor living conditions, life was very hard,” Mahesh explains. “I was a struggling farmer, and it was difficult to provide daily meals for my family.”
As life grew harder and more painful, he became severely depressed. “I tried to commit suicide several times,” he remembers.
One day, as he was sitting outside his house with a heavy heart, a man passed by and took notice of his gloom. “Why are you so sad,” the man asked.
Mahesh told him everything, tears streaming down his face. After listening attentively, the man started to share the good news of God’s love as demonstrated through Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. The man told Mahesh how he could discover more about Jesus by listening to the Hindi Thru the Bible program.
“I started listening and was blessed by it every day,” Mahesh says. As did Miloje, he surrendered his life to Christ.
“God filled me with joy,” Mahesh says. And people noticed his relaxed demeanor and how much calmer he was – a complete change from how he used to be.
“It was God taking my burden,” he states, quoting 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
God gave Mahesh victory in the midst of his struggles. “He helped me sort out my problems and my life became a testimony for people going through depression.”
Today, Mahesh is surrounded by a family of fellow believers who care for each other. “I truly experience the love of Jesus through this band of brothers and sisters in Christ,” he says.
Praise God for how his Word is reaching people in need via the programs from our longtime partner Thru the Bible, aired by TWR in scores of languages around the world. Continue to pray for God to use this effective ministry to expand and build up his kingdom.
* Not his real name.
Richard Greene is a longtime journalist and feature writer who has traveled to more than 60 countries. In addition to serving with TWR, he worked for The Navigators, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse. He and his wife, Lynda, live in the mountains of western North Carolina.