The Value of a Friend
A story about faith
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown the life.
The mango tree in his parents’ backyard has always been Kofi’s favorite spot in the world. Not only does it bear fruit and give shade from the hot Ethiopian sun, but it also provides Kofi with a hideaway to hold Sunday church service – without the fear of persecution. Friends, family and neighbors often make fun of him for being so attached to the tree; little do they know that when he is ‘talking’ to it, he is secretly praying to God.
From an early age, Kofi learned how to earn a living so that he could help his parents. The little food that his dad brought home usually was not enough to feed the entire family. So, while his friends would spend the afternoon playing games, Kofi planted and tended to a mango tree.
Learning that God sent his Son to die for him – a person who never had much – made Kofi realize that the ever-present longing in his heart was his need for Jesus. Unfortunately, many believers in his native Ethiopia are afraid to speak about their faith in public, and he could never find a group of Christians he could trust and fellowship with. Soon, the fire for Jesus he had in his youth began to diminish.
The search begins
Not wanting this fire to be put out, Kofi began searching on his phone for a spiritual mentor to help him stay close to God. When a GodLife website came up on his search with an option to connect with a caring Christian, Kofi excitedly agreed to connect and received a message from Bethany, his new friend.
“Kofi has been encouraged and is more hopeful now, knowing others around the world are praying, and God is with him even in his struggle,” Bethany said. “He enjoys the GodLife Bible studies and says they keep him in the Bible, lift his spirit and give him hope.”
For the last five years, the treatment of Christians in Ethiopia has worsened, but Kofi remains steadfast in his faith, almost solely because of His relationship with his friend, Bethany.
“What I am receiving from you is beyond friendship communication. It is all about God and His love that laid the basic foundation in His sacrifice. It is all about mercy that we receive from Him and reflect on it. ...Yes; in Him everything good is there. But without Him, nothing good is there. ... Therefore I assure you that you are helping me to stay connected to the Lord and remain blessed in every part of my life.”
Pray this week:
“Lord, teach me how to remain strong in my faith no matter the circumstances around me. I ask that you would give me great relationships with people who love you and point me to you. Amen.”
What can a God-centered friendship do for you?
Do you want to have a God-centered friendship? Download our NextSteps App and you can connect with someone who will answer your questions, pray for you and nurture you with the word of God.