My name is Dorcas. This is the name I adopted after I met Jesus. My life has been that of toil, an endless search for that which would give me peace, until now.
I was born in an African religion practicing family, we prayed to dead people through spirit mediums. I hated this religion because of the many sacrifices we had to make. Because of its teachings I was always afraid that anytime, evil spirits could attack me. I had no peace! When I was fourteen, my country went through a horrible period of ethnic killings that left thousands dead. The details are too traumatic to talk about.
After these incidents I did not know what to believe. Later I decided to join another religion. I was seeking the meaning of life and the reason to live. Things did not get better. The answers I got and the treatment I was given led me into depression and sin. While worshiping in this religion I was told that women were not important and that we were only to serve the needs of men. What hurt me most was being told that women would not go to Heaven as it was only meant for men. I asked myself why I should bother trying to live a “holy” life and pray five times a day if there was no reward in heaven for me?
For 10 years I was stuck in this religion with so much abuse and hurt that I do not know why I did not renounce it sooner. I slipped into sin and people began to associate me with the worst of sinners. I was looked down upon and I began to despise myself. I had no self-respect. I sensed that I had reached the end of my life and I was desperate to end it.
Then I was invited to watch a movie by one of the women in my community. I was hesitant to go since I knew the attitude of the community towards me, but she assured me that only a few of us would be there. The “Magdalena” film changed me. That was the best afternoon of my life! In the movie I saw a man who respected women, who did not judge them by their past, who carried their burdens and gave them living water. He was someone who did not care that he was talking with a despised woman, asking her for a drink. I wanted that living water too.
When the curtain was torn in two during the crucifixion scene in the movie, something in my heart broke, I found myself in tears. I was told that the torn curtain represented the truth, that everyone, even woman, now had access to God through Jesus Christ and those who believed in Him would go to heaven! I gladly accepted Jesus as my Savior and felt the need to tell others about this wonderful man.
I was trained how to share the gospel through stories from the “Magdalena” movie. This was especially effective among illiterate woman. I was fulfilled! My dignity was restored! My confidence was restored! My life was worth living again! My purpose in life as a woman excelled into a new dimension! This is my new life!
In nine months I have been able to disciple 5 people who are now discipling their own 5 people. In the next month my disciples have told me, they will be sending their disciples to make other disciples. I want others to experience the peace I have. And to experience the joy of introducing others to Christ and for woman to know there is hope, forgiveness of sin and restoration through Jesus!
You can learn more about Jesus Film Project’s women’s strategies and Magdalena ministry here.