This is a story that can’t be condensed and can only be told the way Barbara Trumbower told it to us, so here it is exactly as she sent it to GMI:
This true story involves the mother of three youths who have attended Juana Díaz Bible Church for many years already. The family lives in one of the barrios to the west of the GMI mission property. We pick up their saga when Nancy unexpectedly became pregnant with their 4th child. At the time she had 3 at home: 10 yrs, 6 yrs, & 9 mos, and the news of another on the way landed very heavily on her, sparking a serious bout of depression. She always suffered from severe stomach pain during pregnancy, and how was she going to deal with that and do all that was necessary to care for her husband and 3 boys? She felt very much like this new creature was actually sucking the life out of her, and wondered if she should have an abortion. Yet she wondered, “How do you justify taking the life of another human being?” At one point she was so desperate that she took a kitchen knife into her hands to plunge it into her womb and stop the misery, not even considering her own life. But her husband, home on vacation, forcibly held her back, and stayed with her as many days as he could. After that, his sister and niece watched her during the days. Nancy decided to go ahead and give birth to the baby, but she promised it to her sister-in-law to rear. About the end of her 4th month, that care-giving came to a close, so she was alone during the day once more.
One day soon after, as was her custom, she tried to tune in the news channel on the radio BUT ~ WCGB-Radio Iniciativa came on instead, transmitting “Through the Bible,” with J. Vernon McGee! He was teaching from a passage in the New Testament, so she opened the little one in her room and followed along. “Someone was talking about Christ, and I just kept listening. It was as if that person were speaking directly to me. When my husband came home from work to find out how I was, I told him I had been in good company all day long.” He asked if someone had come to visit, and I explained it was a radio program. When he and I had thought I would be all alone, God was right there with me. So I finished out my months of pregnancy by listening to Bible studies and worship songs, and it all brought peace to me. I don’t know exactly when the depression lifted; the self-destructive thoughts (like hanging myself from the back yard tree) didn’t all leave in a day, but eventually I noticed they weren’t unsettling me any more ~ no special doctors, no medications, but a peaceful intake of God’s Word had given me loftier thoughts to replace the desperate ones.
When it was time for the birth, my husband called his sister to be ready to take the baby. She came to the hospital, and reminded me of my promise … but I told her I had been out of my mind at that moment and didn’t even realize what I was saying, and that I would instead keep this baby ~ a girl.
It was a long time before we would make the transition to a church. But I prayed every night that God would put me in the church He wanted me to find. Well, 14 years later, our second son began preparing to spend a year in missions [with Talo Vergara in South America]. That did not make me the least bit happy; in fact, I was angry, and didn’t even want to go to his farewell service. But I did, and he left, and strangely, I felt a need to continue going to that church. In fact, I sensed a distinct difference as soon as I entered the building. I even commented to my husband, “I can’t explain it, but I feel the presence of my son more there than even in our own home [where we have his photos and clothing]!” From then on, my husband and I have joined our children at Juana Díaz Bible Church.
On Holy Thursday of this year, I had a gnawing feeling that I should participate in the testimony service there. Our daughter Cindy was concerned that folks wouldn’t understand. But there was something in me that I just had to do this, and I knew if I didn’t actually stand up and get recognized, no one would know enough to call on me, and I would miss the opportunity. So I asked for a paper napkin, and prayed that I would say the right words and wouldn’t cry too much. It was amazing, because there were people there from my barrio, and some of them actually approached me afterwards and thanked me for speaking!
Note: Cindy is now 17 years old, with one more year of high school, and was startled when her mom began telling her the story little by little, but sees the Lord’s hand in it all. And Nancy has asked the Lord’s forgiveness since those moments 2½ years ago when she didn’t want her son to go into missions. Now she realizes the reasons for it all….
Looking back, Nancy considers that the Lord has brought her full circle in one sense…. He drew her to Himself through WCGB, led her into the very church 3 of her 4 children were attending and which was integrally involved with the ministries of GMI, the founding organization of radio station WCGB, and very recently opened the door for her to broadcast her testimony publicly over those same air waves!
P.S. The photo above is of Nancy in the purple shirt to the right of Barbara Trumbower (left as you look at the photo) making sandwiches for IBJS’s December free gift of breakfast on the plaza of Juana Diaz.
P.P.S. The photos below are of Cindy, Nancy’s 17-year-old daughter she decided to keep all those years ago; Harold, her son who went to South America as a missionary, speaking in the church in Juana Diaz; and Harold again portraying Christ on the cross for a youth program in 2013.