A few weeks ago, Danyelle called me to tell me there was a man who only spoke Spanish at the backyard Bible club that the Evangelical Free Church and InFaith were holding in downtown Mount Morris. She had been talking with him since she was the only one who knew any Spanish, but she thought I would be able to communicate better with him.
I quickly rode my bike to the town square where they were and met Gustavo, a Mexican man who had brought his little niece to the club. I talked with him for about a half hour and found out he was Catholic along with his family who lives back in Mexico. His wife left him for another man years ago, and now he lives with his sister and her daughter outside of town. When I invited him to church, he said he was afraid he would be rejected since he doesn’t speak English, but I assured him that wouldn’t be the case. He said he’d come with his niece the next Sunday, and he did!
He has now come to the church twice and said he will keep coming back. After realizing everyone was friendly and that there was even another girl who speaks Spanish in the church, he seemed pleasantly surprised.
The most exciting thing to me and Danyelle is that Gustavo reached out to us and brought us authentic tamales that he made himself on Tuesday! While his niece played with our girls, we talked with Gustavo and got to know him a little better. He wants to learn English so that he can get a better job and not be so isolated in our little town, and I need to practice my Spanish, so we are going to get together more often, maybe for some BBQ at his house in the near future.
Please pray that our relationship with Gustavo and his family would continue to grow and that we could share the hope and freedom of the Gospel with them in a clear way.
God was so good to give me yet another confirmation today that my work with Academia Cristiana del Aire is from Him. I am an administrator for Academia’s Facebook page and saw that a man had left a message for us a few days ago. Here is my best translation from Spanish:
Brothers of the Academy, I am a brother who tried to go to the United States and they caught me illegally entering. I was arrested and put in immigration detention centers for a period of 14 months and during that time I studied with you and would like to continue studying. I request in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to be accepted back to resume my studies. May the Lord bless you for the work that you do to teach the way of truth to those who seek it.
That same man sent this message later:
Grace and blessings, there were several brothers in the congregation that when I made the comment they liked and wanted to enroll in the Academy. I would send the enrollment forms in one envelope with the 3 dollars each ……
Because of the year and a half I spent in Texas learning Spanish, I was able to correspond with this man and help get him the information he needed. Without the amazing generosity of our supporters that got us through language school, I wouldn’t be in this position. THANK YOU to all who have given!
I am so amazed at how God is working in people’s lives through Academia and I want so badly to be able to dedicate my work week to the ministry! Even though it is hard right now to have to look for work outside of Academia in order to pay the bills, I trust that God will provide the support I need in order to do the work that He has given full-time. Until then, I will do what I can with the time and resources I do have.
P.S. Do you think it’s a coincidence that just over a week after I attended a prison ministries conference to learn how Academia could better serve prisoners and ex-prisoners, we received this message from an ex-prisoner? I don’t!
Click the image below for our May 2013 Video Update!