Monday, March 31, 2014

Grace, Grace, God's Grace

A dirt floor. Plastic chairs. A clothesline right above our heads. Five women sitting outside a shack in Sacjavilla desperately trying to share the Gospel with a family. Our path had been directed toward the matriarch of this family, but she was hardened to the Good News. Her daughter…the same. Kathy sees the son-in-law of the family sitting off to the side. His eyes full of tears and a Bible in his hands. She taps me on the should and whispers in my ear, “I think we’re here for him.” Loree continues to share with the women.

Somehow, the conversation gets redirected (God’s ways are not our ways) and I find myself sitting in front of Santiago. I have never seen a man so broken and ready to hear from the Lord. As I flip the pages of my Bible, he turns his in sync. With each verse his sin is set before him, and he weeps. He knows the truth. But, he cannot accept the fact that God can love him. He has drunk too much. Neglected his family. It’s beyond the reach of the Father. Unable to be loved or saved.

I press on and shower Scriptures on him to show Him the love of our Mighty Father. And God quietly nudges my soul with a simple thought, “Tell him about your friend.” Santiago begins to retell his story so I will understand fully how awful he is…and I feel movement behind me. Without even turning around I simply state, “You are not alone. I know someone who has been through the same things. And God changed him. Meet my friend…Greg Brown.” I turn to see Greg standing in the middle of the room.

Greg weeps with Santiago and tells his story. God saved him and He can and will save Santiago too.

Fast forward two years. We find ourselves in a home in the same area of Sacjavilla. A mother and father with grown children, all their spouses, and grandchildren running around. The matriarch is closed. Not interested. The patriarch is a Christ-follower. He weeps with the Bible held in his hands like a precious gift. His face is familiar. He begins to tell his story. A group just like this one came to his mother-in-law’s house and share the Gospel. He met a man who told him about God’s love and His ultimate will. While he didn’t choose the way to life that day, he did soon thereafter when God saved his life in a bus-driver-shooting incident.

His name…Santiago.

Full circle.

Gospel shared.

Gospel rejected.

Gospel accepted.

Life changed.

Now, he sits in his own home surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. Living for God's glory and crying out for the lostness of his family. While he takes his grandchildren to church each week, he longs for the others to join them. He wants them to know Christ and to have eternal life. He weeps for them.

God has brought us to this point. Sitting in another home in Sacjavilla. Crying for the lostness of this family. Praising God for the salvation of Santiago. Longing for the same for the others. The Gospel is presented clearly. The seeds are planted. God is good. Praise His holy name!

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