Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴
Today’s story comes to you from December 2021…
Beautiful brown hands extended heavenward in wholehearted fervor. Voices rang out in a minor key, reverberating with joy. Weathered feet shuffled exuberantly in dusty flip flops. Perspiration poured down brows in the open air, thick with humidity. Mosquitoes buzzed unheeded as the worshippers connected with Heaven in a supernatural atmosphere. Our church in San Lorenzo was having an all-night prayer vigil.
Into that electric environment, a dejected man stumbled in. He was barely able to walk. Paralysis had been setting into his feet. His eyes downcast, he looked deeply embarrassed. Many of the brothers and sisters recognized him. This was Eusebio, one of the worst witch doctors around. He had sent hateful, demonic curses against many. So much damage had he caused, that the community had decided to expel him. Not only that, but it was even whispered among them that he had been responsible for Pastor Victor’s death. Our strongest apostolic leader in that region of the jungle, Papá Victor graduated to heaven last year. The people of San Lorenzo believe that his illness was caused by Eusebio’s witchcraft.
What do you think? How would these indigenous Christians treat such a man coming into their midst? If this was the person they saw as responsible for the loss of their leader? Mamá Noemí is Papá Victor’s widow. Her recent words demonstrate the caliber of believers we have thriving in that corner of the jungle. A brother in the Lord asked her how she felt about Eusebio. She declared heartily, “I forgive him! I would never say anything to make him feel ashamed. I would go to him and embrace him and tell him that I love him.”
The congregation that she has helped nurture reflects Jesus’ love in the same way. They embraced Eusebio that night. Desperate, he had come into the meeting, invited by no one. The Holy Spirit had drawn him there in his brokenness. He renounced all his sins and his lifestyle of witchcraft. He surrendered to Jesus. And the Lord healed him of paralysis! He left that prayer vigil whole and full of joy. He is a new creature. He has a completely different life now, serving the Lord!