Today’s Bible study group under the mesquite tree at the ranch… (a long story of God’s amazing grace and power!)
First, a little background: Consuelo and her daughter, Estefany, became believers over a year ago in this Bible study group. A few months ago, Consuelo’s husband, Brígido, had traveled to another city to have surgery on his eyes because his lack of vision was keeping him from being able to work.
Since Consuelo and Estefany were alone and had no income, they were eating only cacti. We learned about this when we were at the ranch visiting people in their homes, and using the water filters to share the gospel. On our visit with them, we saw their need for food and clean water. We left them with a bucket and water filter that day, and a few days later brought them a despensa (box of food, beans, rice, sugar, etc.)
Also, Estefany told us she had lost her Bible when they moved. I gave her another one, but felt compelled by the Lord to give her two. Maybe your dad or uncle would like one? I’d asked her. Inside the Bibles, I’d highlighted certain scriptures and the plan of salvation, and told her she could explain it to them if she wanted. We left so happy that day, knowing that God had used us to help meet their physical needs, and encourage them.
Then, a few weeks ago, we were able to baptize Consuelo and Estefany! Praise God, it’s really a miracle when the people here agree to be baptized because their cultural traditions are against Christians and baptism.
Today… Consuelo’s husband, Brígido, had returned from his surgery, and came with them to the Bible study. They are currently staying with relatives, so THEY WALKED 2 1/2 hours, partly on the road, and the rest on paths at the base of some mountains to get there! So humbling.
The passage today was the parable of the lost sheep. Jesus left the 99 to rescue the ONE. You may know that our method is very interactive, and all participate, so Brígido was able to share, and ask questions. We knew he had been a heavy drinker for years, and was abusive to his wife and daughter at times. I remember last year, Consuelo telling me of her struggles in living with his addiction, and my sharing a Psalm with her and praying with her for God to give her strength and endurance.
Today, we learned that Brígido had been trying to stop drinking on his own, and that every time he drinks, he cries, saying he wants to stop. After reading about Jesus’ love for the ONE lost sheep today, he surrendered his life to Christ! It was the most beautiful prayer! Phil and I still can’t believe that God allows us to serve Him here in Mexico, and days like this are what we live for!
God gets all the glory, because He changes hearts, but our partners in prayer and giving have a huge part, as well! What an amazing day!