Redemption in the Squatter Community

Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴

Ruty’s daughter and husband

The following is a story that Ruty, one of our pastor’s wives, related to me a few months ago. These are her words, translated into English. She amazes me:

“The squatters came and took all our crops. Right in front of our eyes, they carried them away. We could not do anything about it. Some of them even sold the fruits of our harvest to other people, right there in front of us. They hurled insults at us. They were very cruel with their words.

“My father-in-law was deeply saddened. All his hard work was gone, just like that. My daughter loves her grandfather so much. She was so grieved by all that took place. ‘I don’t have anything to give Grandpa anymore,’ she said. She had always lovingly given her grandfather a portion of what she earned from selling her produce.

“My son was also heartsick. Both of my children had worked arduously at my side to nourish those plants and bring forth the fruit of the land. After years of hard work, to have it all stolen was painful. Our home became a very silent, sad place. We weren’t talking much; just going through the motions of life.

“My father-in-law almost unleashed his fury on the squatters one day. I myself was tempted to do so as well. But when I started in that direction, I found my voice sealed off. It’s like God put His hand on my mouth, and would not let me vent my anger.

“My daughter said to me, ‘Mom, why don’t we just go far away from here?’ I will admit that I also wanted to move away. But I told my family, ‘We cannot leave this place. We cannot let the devil win. We have strength. We have arms and legs and wisdom that God has given us. We can grow more crops. There will always be more. We are going to have even more than what we had before. We cannot let the enemy shame us. Neither can we act on our rage towards these people.’

“Over a year has passed. As time has gone by, God has allowed us many opportunities to connect with these squatters. We have shared His love with them. They have been powerfully impacted by our kindness. They even asked us to forgive them for what they did. We have invited them to church, and several of them have given their lives to Jesus.

“I shared some Scriptures with those squatters. I told them, ‘I used to not know what was right and wrong either, just like you. But the Word of God showed me the way to live. Here, take this. Read it. Learn it for yourself. It will give you what you need.’

“Now we have a new crops coming up. God is blessing us in amazing ways. My son and daughter were able to go on a mission trip recently. It changed their lives completely. They came back full of new fire. The atmosphere of our home has changed from sorrow to joy. God is so faithful!”