“Pastorita, all eight of them knelt down in their little hut and received Jesus as Lord,” my friend told me yesterday. (We will call her Dulce to protect her anonymity.)
She calls me Pastorita (“Pastor” with a diminutive ending in Spanish) because I have mentored her since she was 15. She is now in her 30’s. The Lord has given me the privilege of pouring into many precious people these twenty years as a missionary in the Amazon Jungle. Of all of them, this young woman stands out. She makes me heart rejoice over and over.
Remember how I shared with you a couple weeks ago about the friend who has a new teaching job in Belén, one of the poorest parts of our city? That was Dulce. And God did something really special with that post. Someone who read it wrote to me and asked how they could get some funds to her. I facilitated that, and as soon as she had them, Dulce went to work.
She went to the store and shopped for four of the neediest families that she has encountered in that neighborhood. Thus stocked up, she embarked on her journey for the day. As you can see, during this part of the year, much of Belén is under water. It is the rainy season here in the jungle. The places in the city that get covered with water for months is where the poorest of the poor live. They have nowhere else to go.
One of the families she visited is a grandmother who is now raising her seven grandchildren. Tragically, this is because their mother died last year of covid. Looking at these pictures tears my heart up. These little ones and this elderly lady all sleep and eat on the floor of their hut. They have no bed, no furniture. They often go hungry… which made Dulce’s visit all the more meaningful to them.
How their face lit up when they saw the groceries that she brought for them! She told them that Jesus had sent them because He loves them so very much. Dulce had also noticed that the only shoes the granny had were a mismatched pair that she had salvaged from a garbage dump. So she also purchased a new pair of flip-flops for her. Look at this precious grandma’s face lit up with happiness over her new shoes!
It also just so happens that yesterday was this grandmother’s birthday. In her entire life, she had never had a birthday celebration. Dulce also bought a cake for her with those funds she had received. Neither this precious elderly woman, nor any of the little ones, had ever tasted cake before. Can you hear the happy giggle of delight in the following video?
The best part of all: one of the littlest of the children, a year and a half old, had been very sick. Dulce laid hands on her and prayed. Jesus completely healed her on the spot. This was a perfect moment for Dulce to share the gospel with them, so she did. And then the whole family knelt down then and there and surrendered their lives to the Lord!
This story strikes me as so timely for Holy Week. As we celebrate the sacrificial death and resurrection of our Savior, we have new brothers and sisters with whom to celebrate. In a faraway corner of one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Amazon Jungle, eight new souls have been born again. Jesus is receiving the reward of His suffering!
Isn’t it amazing to think about how Jesus, the Suffering Servant, hears the cry of the broken in all of the uttermost ends of the earth?