Friday, July 21, 2006

 

Patience in Guarambare

Thursday came, and with it another opportunity to serve. Actually, it was a depressing day for me. I went to the park hoping to see Mario, who wasn't there. We were to visit him that day in his neighborhood, so I called their cell phone. His wife sells clothing in a neighboring town. I asked about him, and she said that he was in the park. Well, I was in the park and he was not in the park. I told her that, and half an hour later, he called me to tell me that that day was not a good day for me to visit his neighborhood. I later learned that she leaves earlier than he does, and suspect that he did not want to dissappoint me by no one's willingness to participate in a Bible study in his neighborhood, so he didn't go to work. Friday, the next day, we talked about the fact that the Cornelius story found in Acts 10 and the Samaritan Woman story are both rare exceptions to the experiences that we, my colleagues and I, face on a daily basis. Many times, it takes time to build trust and sow seed.

The plan is that a musician from our church, Mario, and I will continue to go out there weekly, spend some time singing songs, visit those who are interested, and share from portions of God's Word.

My faith has no merit in itself to make God work a miracle. However, based upon His desire that every believer be in a body, that He has told us to witness, that He died for Mario's family, neighborhood, and that He has called us to participate in the Great Commission, I am asking the All Powerful God to intervene in the lives of the people in that area so that they can know the truth and be set free from the enslaving powers of darkness, hopelessness, and self-destruction.

I am asking the Lord to help Mario not to be in a hurry, but to just allow us to come, visit, share, meet needs, and love the people there. When we push our agenda, it's manipulation. When we push religion, it's often deception. When we love them and teach them to love each other the way that Jesus loves them -when we taste the salt in their tears, connect with their hurts - we become God's instrument of change in the neighborhood. When we show them the clear, calm assurance that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and help our brothers and sisters to do the same, we have the privilege of joining God in His work.

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