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Restoring the heart of a woman

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05.28.2019

Lilianna was raised in an impoverished area of Peru. Lilianna’s biological mother was unable to care for her child and gave Lilianna up for adoption. Despite being raised in a loving family, Lilianna carried around feelings of rejection and bitterness because she was adopted.

Lilianna married Jonathon, and the couple met Martin and Tracy Reeves, TMS Global cross-cultural workers who serve in Trujillo, Peru. Martin and Tracy began a small group in their home in 2007 and invited Lilianna and Jonathon. The root of bitterness that Lilianna carried as a child had grown as she matured into an adult. Lilianna suffered from terrible back pain and was very unhappy.

“God revealed to me that my back pain was due to a lack of forgiveness of my parents and my biological mom,” said Lilianna. She confided in Martin and Tracy, who spent time praying with her. “I experienced great peace. The next week, my chiropractor said that my back was completely healed!”

Lilianna and Jonathon continued to be discipled by Martin and Tracy. The couple was young in their faith and eager learn more about following Jesus. Over the years, Lilianna and Jonathon helped Martin and Tracy plant three churches in El Milagro, a poor area of Trujillo. As Lilianna and Jonathon grew in faith they became more and more involved in the churches.

Lilianna taught Sunday school and tutored children in English at the church’s after-school program. Jonathon, a professional musician, began leading worship at the churches. Lilianna began to sing and lead worship as well. Formerly a timid and shy person, Lilianna said that God transformed her into someone who was leading worship and bringing Him praise.

God began urging Lilianna to start a women’s group in her home. Lilianna said, “God told me, ‘You have gone through much in your life, and it’s time to be my witness of all that I’ve done for you. I healed and restored you so that others can be healed like you.’ I decided to pray and do what God had placed on my heart.”

However, before Lilianna could begin a women’s ministry, tragedy struck their family.

Lilianna and Jonathon were traveling home by motorcycle after Wednesday evening church service in December 2017. A car struck the couple and then sped away. Jonathon suffered a broken clavicle. Lilianna had a broken clavicle, shoulder, and her left elbow was shattered.

Jonathon could not play music, which put a tremendous strain on the family’s finances. Lilianna was forced to stop all her ministries at the church while she recovered. Lilianna dealt with depression and unforgiveness towards that man who hit them. She mourned the fact that she will never regain full movement in her left arm.

“The process of recuperation was painful,” said Lilianna. “I questioned God during this time. We were serving God and doing what was right, and He allowed this to happen. I didn’t understand, but the Lord met me in that time. He told me that He felt all my pain because He had been wounded for our transgressions, and by His wounds we are healed.

“God called me to forgive the man who hit us and release the bitterness in my heart. I decided to forgive him and be free.”

More than one year after their accident, Lilianna and Jonathon have begun to lead worship again at church. Martin and Tracy raised the funds to build a church building, and the three churches in El Milagro merged into one in 2018.

God’s call for Lilianna to begin a women’s ministry finally came to fruition earlier this year. Lilianna coordinated a women’s event at the El Milagro church. Men from the congregation took care of the children and provided lunch. Lilianna gave a talk on “Restoring the heart of a woman” to the 52 women who attended.

“I felt that it was time to get up and share my faith with other women in El Milagro,” said Lilianna. “Other women who struggle like I do. I want to help them grow in faith and help them see that there is an all-powerful God who loves them. I want them to know the importance of forgiveness.

“God protected my life and the life of my husband in that accident. We are eager to continue to serve Him and fulfill the dreams that He has for our lives.”

Next steps:

  • Pray for Liliana, Jonathon, Martin, and Tracy as they minister to the people of El Milagro.
  • Pray for the church in El Milagro to grow, and for the transforming love of Christ to heal the wounds people there carry.
  • If you are interested in sharing the love of Christ in Peru, or one of the 38 other countries where we serve, complete a short form. Someone will be in touch with you.