Ilhom Zaripov

I am a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, but my life became very difficult when I gave my life to Christ. In 2010, the government in Uzbekistan were persecuting Christians. I lost my job because of my faith, and I was arrested and sent to prison. Over the next few years, I was unjustly incarcerated because of my beliefs. During which time, my wife and two children were left alone without me to provide for them, they had no money and no food to eat. My three year old son got very sick, and needed to go to the hospital, but we couldn’t afford to pay for his treatment.

I went to the same church as Lola, and after my release from prison, I was on my way home, carrying a broken bike when Lola approached me. After talking for a while, she asked me if I needed financial help. As a prideful man, I said no; two days later, I bumped into Lola and she asked me again if I needed financial help. My immediate response was to question why this woman keeps asking if I need money. But God had spoke to her, and told her to provide financial support to someone. Little did she know that I was in a desperate situation, I was looking for a job, but no one would hire me because I was a Christian.

That Sunday after church, Lola walked up to me and put an envelope in my hand, and told me to give it to my wife. She knew I needed money but I wasn’t going to take it so she gave it to my wife instead. The money was enough for my sons medical treatment, and to support my family for several months.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a job in Uzbekistan because I was a Christian, some people in church told me that I could find work in Russia. They paid for my flight and accommodation, but it was also difficult to find a job because I didn’t speak Russian. Three months after my arrival, I was employed by a company to fix wheels, and it was extremely demanding. After three months I was fired without pay because I didn’t speak the language. I was forced to borrow money from my friends in Uzbekistan to return home and find work. During this time, my wife became very sick, and no one was hiring me. People started asking for their money, it was the most depressing and desolate period of my life

My wife saw me cry out to Jesus for help, I was desperate and ready to give up on my faith because my suffering was too much for me to bear. My life was fine before I became a Christian, and now it was falling apart. In my anguish, I said, “God, if you exist, answer my prayers, if not, I will give up on Jesus Christ.”  At that time, Lola had relocated to America, God said to her, “When your brother is hungry, feed him who is in need.” I wrote to her and asked for help, because of the word that the Lord had spoken to her, Lola answered immediately, knowing in her spirit that I was the brother who was hungry and in need. Lola sent enough money for my wife’s treatment, and shortly after, I found a job.

Through Lola, Jesus Christ answered my prayers and revealed himself to me, my faith was now firmly established.

On 28th August 2017, I received a phone call from Lola’s mother, she told me Lola had a package she wanted me to collect. I went to her house to pick up the package, and to my amazement found that it contained school clothes and stationary, shoes, and winter clothes. Everything we needed at that time was in the package, it was a miracle. My children didn’t know Lola, so I told them that Jesus Christ had given them these gifts, they were very happy. My wife was also amazed because we had just been discussing how we were going to afford these things. She asked if Lola’s presence was in our home because how could she be so accurate?

My wife and I had a money box, we had been saving to buy a television for our children. I told them to pray that we would have enough by Christmas. Christmas day arrived, we hadn’t saved enough money, but Lola sent us a TV, we hadn’t told her about our prayer requests. My children were overjoyed that God had answered their prayer.

I have so many testimonies I can share with you about the goodness of God, and how He has used Lola to bless my life, but there is not enough space to include everything. For now, all you need to know is that the hand of the Lord is upon Lola, I pray that He continues to bless her and keep her as she continues in His great work.

– Ilhom Zaripov. Samarkand, Uzbekistan

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