The Message in the Marketplace
From the Assemblies of God World Missions archives
Oct. 6, 2013
On a cold January day, Madame Reinhard was buying supplies at the marketplace in Lisieux, France, when a man approached her and handed her a gospel tract.
“God still heals the sick,” the man told her.
The Gypsy woman took the tract, carefully folded it, and put it in her purse. It remained there as Madame Reinhard’s caravan traveled on its seemingly endless journey from place to place. Several times it fell from Madame Reinhard’s purse, but each time the woman faithfully retrieved it. She felt constrained to keep it, even though she could not read the words printed on it.
A few months later the Gypsy caravan returned to Lisieux. This time one of Madame Reinhard’s sons was very ill. The concerned mother sought medical help for the boy, but a diagnosis of appendicitis and peritonitis brought little optimism for recovery.
“There is no hope for him as far as human science is concerned,” doctors told the family.
In her despair, Madame Reinhard remembered the man with the tract and his brief statement to her. Drawing the leaflet from her purse, she asked a woman at the hospital to read it aloud, including the name of the church printed on it.
After learning where the AG church was located, Madame Reinhard set out to find it. She arrived while a Sunday morning service was in progress.
Interrupting the pastor, Madame Reinhard cried out, “Sir, my son is dying. Come and pray for him.”
“Your son will not die. God is all-powerful,” the pastor replied. “He is able to heal and deliver.”
The pastor went with Madame Reinhard to the hospital and prayed for her son. In only a few days the boy was released with no signs of illness.
News of the miracle spread. When Madame Reinhard’s married son, Mandz, heard what had happened, he rushed to Lisieux to see the evidence for himself. Convinced of the power of God, he wholeheartedly received Christ.
Within a few days, the caravan resumed its travels. Although the Reinhard family’s knowledge of the Bible was limited, they continued to serve Christ faithfully. In Gypsy camps where they stopped, they testified of the wonderful God who saves and heals.
About two years after the miracle, 30 Gypsy believers assembled at a prayer meeting in Brest, France. The presence of God was evident among them, and several, including Mandz, were filled with the Holy Spirit. This outpouring sparked revival fires that eventually spread across several countries.
From a simple gospel tract, God opened doors for the gospel among the Gypsies of Western Europe. With eyes of faith, Madame Reinhard, the woman who couldn’t read, led the way.
This story was compiled from information first published in 1961.
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