Speaking Hope eUpdate
Henry and Anna Penner are Canadian missionaries serving in Bolivia among the Low German Mennonites. They manage the Low German radio station, including recording and producing programs, and they visit the colonies to build relationships and teach the truth of Jesus Christ.
Many people in the colonies listen to the programs and are learning about the gospel. However, it is difficult for many listeners to follow the God of the Bible instead of the god taught by community leaders. Believing anything other than what is taught can mean shunning and rejection from the only community and family one has ever known. In this context, it can be very hard to see the changes that happen in people’s hearts and lives. However, God is working in the lives of many, and every so often Henry witnesses lives completely changed by God. Here is one such story.
In their visits to the colonies, Henry and Anna began to get to know a young man who listened to their radio programs regularly and was very open to the message of the gospel. Henry would visit him and share the truth of the gospel with him. Then, one day he attended a Bible study outside of the colony and accepted God’s gift of salvation!
After two years of communicating with Henry, this young man told him he and his girlfriend wanted to leave the colony. This was a significant step, and Henry wanted to be cautious. He told them they needed a plan: what would they do once they left? The young man worked on this; he found a job and connected with a nearby church who would baptize him.
Then one day, Henry got a call from the young man: “Come pick us up. We want to leave right now.” Henry, who was managing the radio station right then, called a local volunteer to cover for him while he and Anna drove to the colonies. After confirming they truly wanted to leave, they picked up the couple and brought them to stay temporarily at the RTM Bolivia guest house. In the following week, Henry and Anna shared the message of salvation with the girlfriend, and soon after she also accepted Christ. Not too long later, they were married.
After the girlfriend left home, her parents often contacted Henry and Anna, wanting to resolve issues with their daughter. The Penners encouraged them to communicate with her directly. Although they couldn’t do much, the relationship laid heavily on Henry and Anna’s hearts. They prayed for reconciliation with the family, who by the community’s expectations should shun their daughter. Over time, God provided in this as well. The family reconciled and did not shun the couple but instead welcomed their visits. The young man’s parents also accepted visits with the couple in time. Praise God for the changed lives of this young couple, and for healing broken relationships within the family. We also rejoice in the fact that other people, whose names and faces we may never know, come to believe in the true God through the ministry of the Penners in Bolivia.
The Penners are currently home in Canada on furlough. If you’d like to connect with them while they are home or are interested in being a part of their ministry through prayer or financial support, they would love to hear from you. You can call our office at 888-672-6510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.