Finding Freedom in Jesus

What began as dinner became deliverance from lifelong shame.

Navigator staff members in Asia, John* and Lori*, met some friends for a meal, joined by others going through deep hurt and struggle. After the group finished “breaking bread” together, John shared a simple drawing, showing how weights from the past hinder us from running God’s race.

“Sam looked at the drawing silently for several moments, then began sobbing,” John says. “He hungered for relief from emotional pain that had burdened him for years.”

The next day, Sam came to John and Lori’s hotel room and shared his story.

Sam was born in a rural village, sent at just one year old to another city to be cared for by a relative. At five years old, he returned home to visit his parents. One day, his mother took him to a relative’s home, told him to sit down, and gave him something to eat. Then she committed adultery with the relative.

“Sam felt great shame and confusion,” John says. “Knowing that Sam knew what happened, his mother cursed him to prevent him from telling his father. In the years that followed, she used threats, deception, and criticism to control Sam and deflect attention away from her sin. As a result, even the sound of her voice caused fear to rise in him. Now, after several decades of this abuse, he felt exhausted from managing this deception and the consequences that accompanied it.”

To help Sam process and move forward, John and Lori prayed with him to reject the lie that he couldn’t speak the truth about what happened. Then, they had him symbolically walk out from under the web of deception his mother had created, and into new freedom only Christ could provide. Lori provided a safe place for him to express his true, raw feelings about his mother’s actions. Finally, through God’s grace, he was able to forgive his mother, freeing his heart from years of torturous pain.


“Afterward, Sam sat silently for several moments, slowly shaking his head,” John says. “Then, free from his painful burden, he looked at us and said simply, ‘Thank you.’”

As John and Lori meet with people who are in hard situations like Sam, God uses John to share biblical truth, and Lori comes alongside as a trusted counselor.

“Together, we try our best to follow the Spirit’s guidance to discover the root of the problem, and then encourage the person to respond in a way that would lead to new freedom,” John says. “We actively look for these opportunities. When we meet someone who is hurting, we pray for Jesus to reveal His love and His power in a way that heals that person’s brokenness. The gospel Jesus proclaimed led people to experience physical, emotional, and spiritual freedom.”

John is grateful for every supporter who makes this ministry possible.

“We thank all our supporters for their partnership,” John says. “That partnership has allowed many like Sam to experience the truth, ‘If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’”

*Names changed


Prayer: Please pray for hope and healing for those who need it, that God would pour out His grace upon them, and that His truth would set them free.


  1. I came across your bible study books (book 1 to 3). I would like to continue but I do into have the rest of the set. Is this study avalable online or where can I buy the rest of the set? I am based in Botswana.

  2. Awesome. I’m thankful for the Lord’s grace and mercy as well as His truth. Thanks to the Navigators for their work in supporting truth and restoration

  3. Thank you John and Lori for serving the lost in Asia. May God richly bless your ministry! In Christ’s endless live and mercy, Cyndy Bennis

  4. I am thankful to our caring God that you shared this experience and that Sam found healing and hope in our compassionate and forgiving Savior. I pray Sam will grow in faith.

  5. Its always a blessing to be reminded how Jesus allowed us to be set free. Thank you for sharing this story.

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