A very dear and precious brother in the Lord, Gia Tvaradze, called to give us wonderful news this early morning! He said that “they” awakened him in his prison cell a couple nights ago and told him to “Go home!” He said he didn’t know why they set him free!
We have known Gia since our first trip to Tbilisi in the winter of 1991. He and his lovely wife, Tika, had not been married long and through the work of Campus Crusade for Christ had recently accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord and were attending a Bible study! Through the years, we watched them grow in the Lord and go through joys and many trials and set-backs! They had a baby girl, Mariam, who is in the sixth grade in our school and a baby boy, Sandro, who is around five yrs. of age.
Gia worked alongside Earl in the first phase of our school building and was indispensable as his translator, driver, and helper through-out the last 5 months of construction. He was also beautifully remodeling his uncle’s apartment which is where the family lived.
It was just weeks after the completion of this phase of the school that we heard that Gia had been arrested for drug possession and sentenced to 8 years in prison. Only his closest family members have been allowed to see Gia. We were not allowed to even send him letters. The jails in Georgia are not at all like our jails or prisons! He was placed in a cell with some 30+ other inmates that was only around 20 ft.by 20 ft. and NO furniture nor heat! He contracted TB and was critically ill for nearly a year! Just months after his imprisonment, their beautiful flat in downtown Tbilisi was destroyed in a fire and every earthly possession was in ashes! Miriam told us that all that she had left was another school uniform and a dress!
Through Tika, his mother and his brother-in-law, we heard how He had re-committed his life to the Lord in jail and how wonderfully God had used him to witness to the other in-mates in the prison. Through his work with a priest that visited regularly, they were used to help over 40 other men become followers of Christ and have been baptized! We were told that he had said that it seemed that God had to get him to a place of having absolutely nothing in this world so that he would completely give his life to Him!
You may imagine how thrilled we are that Gia is truly free! “He that is free is free indeed!”
This devotion (click here) came through ElijahList today and we sent it to Gia! Oh, the faithfulness (perfect timing) of our great and awesome God!