Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴
Today’s story is from May 2021. Be blessed today!
Forty-three years ago, Jose and Carmen Arimborgo left everything. They sold all their possessions. They gave up their prosperous income source. They gathered their four little ones, and moved to the Amazon Jungle.
They arrived in Iquitos, Peru with nothing more than a few sets of clothing. Immediately after they arrived, the man that was going to provide ministry oversight for them died. A helicopter crash extinguished his life. They did not have any other contacts in this unknown city. They had no money, no friends, and no place to live. They had never felt more alone and vulnerable in their lives.
Things began to look up. A friendly woman named Sofia took pity on them. She told them that she had an extra house they could use for as long as they needed it. For the first time since their arrival, a new light of hope seemed to glimmer. However, soon more painful trials ensued. Sofia came to knock on the door of the home she had lent them. “You must leave,” she blurted out. “You have one week to get out. Take nothing with you.”
Somehow, the Arimborgos managed to survive those very difficult times. God soon provided another house. It had no electricity or running water. Floodwaters swept through it every time it rained (which is a whole lot in the jungle). Water snakes often came through with the flooding. But at least it was their own.
Years passed. One day, there was a knock at the door. When Carmen opened it, Sofia stood there. Her eyes were full of pain. Surprised, Carmen invited her in. Sofia’s story came tumbling out of her mouth. Her husband had abused her, cheated on her, and left her. Life had crushed her heart.
So Carmen began to minister to the broken woman. She had long ago forgiven Sofia. She now poured the healing love of Jesus over her festering wounds. Sofia wept at her kindness. She could not believe what a warm welcome Carmen was giving her in spite of how cruelly she had behaved.
She soon became a permanent part of our church. She still is, all these years later. A couple weeks ago, she told Carmen a new story. “My ex-husband came knocking on my door,” she reported. “After all these years of womanizing, he begged to come live with me again. The pandemic hit him hard. He has lost everything, even his house.
“You know what? I remembered the way that you welcomed me back into your life after I mistreated you so badly. And I decided to let him come home. Now, every day, I am sharing the good news of Jesus with him. Thank you, Pastor Carmen, for showing me the way!”
Sofia is now 80 years old. She is active in the work of the Lord. She is constantly winning new souls for Jesus. She oversees several cell groups that she founded. She is passionately investing her last years, making sure as many come to know Jesus as possible! Never underestimate the power of forgiveness. Through the mercy you extend, you never know the lives that might be redeemed.
P.S. My new book has LAUNCHED! In it, I share my experiences when my six-year-old Lily was in a seventeen-day coma, the incredible miracles God did for us, and tools in each chapter to help people going through really hard things.
Are you, or someone you know, walking through an extremely painful trial? Journey Through the Dark Night: Messages of Hope from the Morning may be exactly the word you are needing to hear. You can order a copy here.