Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The only person to fly into Laredo, Texas, where our team picked her up and crossed the border, Amanda is a slight young lady. She is known as a leader in her youth group, and has seven sisters in a blended family. Amanda is an over-achiever, who is very disciplined, and has perfectionist tendencies.

Coming to Mexico was a big deal for her. She stepped outside of her comfort zone to follow God's call on her life. Only, going through drama training was more than she bargained for. She began to question the wisdom of her decision to come.

She was cast as a "knight." Many of the other "knights" had learned the drama from others in their youth group (who had done it last year). The choreography was complex and frustrating to her. She felt like she would never get it. She had come to the end of herself, and was ready to give up. She wanted to master it immediately, and that was not happening.

Amid her frustration a young Mexican woman walked through her team of knights, obviously looking for someone.

Amanda may have noticed her, and she may not have. Sylvia, also small in frame, was unassuming, but walked with confidence. The team was used to having nationals walk in and out of the practicing area. There would have been no reason for her to be alerted to this situation.

Sylvia had just given her heart to Jesus, and her sparkle had become a full blown expression of joy and expectation. Her heart had been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and she repeated "I am clean and I have new life," over and over in Spanish.

She asked Marjorie if she could take a shower. She had not had one in many days. At my consent, Marjorie returned with her to the bathroom. She was equipped with toiletries and a towel. As she and Marjorie talked, new issues were revealed.

Sylvia was homeless, and had only the clothes on her back and a couple of items in her unusual stout black plastic bag. Sylvia bathed in the new Light of God's redemption in her life. She wanted a fresh start. She knew there were some things that would impede her freedom in that.

Embarrassed and still weeping with joy, she continued to share with Marjorie. She was known to some by her outfit, but the police would recognize her by that black bag she carried. That stout black plastic bag was a Scarlet Letter in her culture.

It was police issue. It was given to her upon her arrest for prostitution. Having it in her possession, brought the attention of the police back on her. She would be re-arrested, and held until she granted "favors" to them. Then she could be released, only to repeat this process over and over again.

She needed to not look like a prostitute. A simple request from Sylvia became the key to open the eyes of Amanda's heart to all that she was enduring. Amanda was a delightful young woman who found herself not feeling so gracious up this moment.

Marjorie came to me and said, "Do we have any underwear or clothes we can give Sylvia?" Then she relayed the details of Sylvia's situation.

The Lord quickly moved in my heart to seek Amanda's input. You see, Amanda and Sylvia were the same size.

In the ensuing moments, Amanda flowed with the grace that the Lord had instilled in her. The grace that heretofore had been tucked away behind a defensive and frustrated young woman, came spilling out into the life of Sylvia.

Amanda raced to her bag and headed to the bathroom. The Lord had moved her to the core. She gave Sylvia a complete set of clothing. Nothing was excluded! She gave her one more thing. Hearing Sylvia's story, and wanting to truly minister to her, Amanda gave Sylvia her shoulder bag.

Sylvia could negotiate the city in her new clothes and bag without the beacon of her former life, her former police issue, black bag.

Amanda, Marjorie and a few others who got involved with Sylvia gathered around her to say goodbye. Her joy was overflowing. Tears continued to stream down her face as if they were racing to be the first to touch her new clothing. This young woman was transformed!

She stopped to thank me. She was genuine and gracious. Her joy overflowed.

There was so much more we wished we could do for Sylvia, but we were limited by a number of factors. We had to entrust her into the watch-care of the Almighty... her Lord and Savior!

Suddenly, Amanda was no longer inhibited by circumstance. Her understanding of the drama came much more freely. The Lord had orchestrated a series of people and events to converge at one time in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. This event would begin a work of His power on display in this team, that would seal His anointing on them for the entire week.

The Holy Spirit hovered over this team, and empowered them to lead more than 250 people to Christ! Praise God! These people were connected to local pastors in each region of this immense city.

God is doing a work, and we have the privilege of consistently choosing to join Him!

Amanda was planning to spend the summer at camp. God moved in her heart and gave her a brokenness for others. She had the opportunity to lead many people to Christ. She has come to realize a new calling for the summer. Amanda is going to Panama to share Jesus with them!

Praise God for His incredible provision for each of us!

Sylvia took her tube top and a couple of other items that marked her former way of life, and ceremonially dropped them into a garbage bag, declaring in Spanish, a phrase implying she was "throwing away" her old way of life, and was walking in New Life in "JesuCristo!" That bag and its contents were presented to me. She truly was leaving it all behind.

Wow! My God is AWESOME!!!



At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! What amazing answers to prayers...what amazing EVERYTHING!!

250 parties in heaven, 250 new disciples, 250 family members, 250 new lives. I am just so excited, I don't even know what to say I am so excited!

Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!

We ask great things of a GREAT God! He shows His hand in mighty, unimaginable ways!

What a blessing & joy it is to hear what He is doing through willing bond servants.

Praise the Lord for His work, faithfulness, & disciples.

What a great way to start a new day!

We love you all & thank the Lord for you daily!

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise be to the Lord of redemption! God is Awesome in His grace and compassion. Your work reflects His glory in your lives and spreads to the lives of others! Thanks to Awestar for their calling and discipline. Praise be to God!

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

What a beautiful way to start out my day, with the love of Jesus flowing through those mentioned in this post. As I came to the end of yesterdays post, I couldn't help but wonder, what more could be added. Silly me, I should know by now that God always has more to add. Praise God for His "more".
God bless you and your team members for being ever faithful to follow the calling He has for each and every one of you. May He continue to bless you all in the work He has for you.

In His Love

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a new team mate...yeah!!!! And a new sister!!!! God you rock!
Shara :D

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halleujah! Halleujah! Joy Unspeakable!

At 4:31 PM, Blogger natenamy said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! What an amazing testiment to Our God's GREATNESS! So glad that through your ministry, God brought Sylvia and 250 others in to His forever family!
We love you!
Nate and Amy

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Keep up the good work

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so excited to talk to Amanda!! And I am so proud of our team and to hear how God moved in Mexico.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two lives changed by Grace. Thank you Jesus. \o/


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