Friday, November 02, 2007
We returned last night from our annual team retreat. It was a nice, relaxing way to thank everyone on our team for all of the hard work they have put in over the past year. The first evening, we took some time to share some of the highlights from the past year. Ronnie (a long-time member of our team) shared what had impacted him the most over the past year and it is definitely worth passing on. It's also a great example of how interconnected our lives are as Christians.
Over two years ago, the first area of ministry that was established was the children's program. Ronnie had started a bible study in Spanish with a few of the parents whose children were attending. One Sunday, my parents happened to be visiting from Florida. During the bible study, which only included two local ladies, my dad (who only speaks English) asked Ronnie, "Do these ladies (who only speak Spanish) know the Lord?" Ronnie stopped the study and asked them. One said yes and the other (Adriana) said no. Ronnie asked her if she'd like to follow Christ; she said yes and we stopped and prayed right there.
Over the course of the next year, Adriana continued to grow and slowly got more and more involved. She is now one of the leaders of the OANSA (AWANA's) program and she and her husband also host the Spanish house church at their house. Last year, after living together for over 11 years, she and her husband, Ronolfo (on the left next to Ronnie and Tammy), got married out of a desire to honor God and set an example for thier three children.
Because of her participation and the changes that were taking place in her life, Adrianna's husband began getting more and more involved and soon involved his brother (William) who is now a leader at the Children's program. William became a Christian over 20 years ago but had basically gone no further in his relationship with God and had not even attended church during that time. He has been faithfully attending the Spanish house church now for over a year.
The highpoint of all of this is that Ronnie was recently invited to a Men's bible study way back in the jungle behind Puerto. When he arrived, he was pleasantly surprised to see William leading 20 men in a bible study modeled after the housechurch that Ronnie has been leading. There were 20 men in attendance. That was definitely a highpoint for Ronnie and for the rest of us on the team. It shows that God works in so many different ways and that each of us can impact so many others...many times never knowing the outcome. Ronnie was faithful to teach, my dad was faithful to see the gospel shared with two women with whom he couldn't even communicate and as a team we have been faithful to model Christ in our lives and our ministries. In turn, God has been faithful to work, bless and change lives for His glory and as a result the bible is being taught in the jungle where previously nothing was happening. Cool stuff.