Monday, November 10, 2008

Maid of honor (Lauren)

This past weekend we had the unique privilege of spending time with missionaries from around the world. Some that are my contacts in the countries we serve, and others we had yet to meet. What an incredible blessing it was! It was our (Awe Star Ministries) third annual iGo event.

Billy and Cindy Foote led worship, and we had a host of different speakers and breakout leaders. The fellowship was sweet, and the worship amazing. I have a renewed enthusiasm for missions!

One of the stories I heard this weekend, was new to me. It happened as a result of the last team I took to Mexico, but Anabel, my contact, waited to share this story until this event. She closed with it last night at the final service.

A week after my team left Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, a knock came on the church door. The church is La Primera Iglesia Bautista, or PIB. Anabel, who fills an unpaid role as director of missions, works harder than anyone I have ever met, serving the Lord. In her thirties, she is a most beautiful woman, with long black hair. After completing a 12 to 14 hour day of missions work, she will go home and begin to sew, to make a living. I do not know how she has the energy. She energizes each of our teams!

Anyway, Anabel answered the knock. She opened the plate glass doors to a woman and her three small children. The mother asked if they could talk. Anabel invited her in.

She began to share her story with Anabel.

A week earlier, this woman had reached a low extreme. She moved her family to Nuevo Laredo, in hopes of finding work. She was unsuccessful. She found it easier to turn to drugs to numb the pain of what she did not have and could not provide. She had lost all hope and could not continue like this. She was upset with herself for using what little money she had for herself in ways that did not help their situation.

Hopeless, she made a critical decision. She gave a sleeping pill to each child and headed off to the store to buy rat poison. She was going to end the suffering for each of the four of them.

On her way, she saw a crowd. She could make out just beyond the sea of people, a group of American students in funny costumes jumping around to music which if she was hearing right, was in her own language!

Her curiosity piqued, she drew in to see what this was about.

She watched a Gentle Ruler banish an Evil Knight from his kingdom for trying to steal the hearts of his people. She saw the people, reject the Gentle Ruler. Then he sent his Son to the people to try and restore the relationship. At first the people were enthusiastic, but ultimately, fell under the influence of the Evil Knight and turned on the Good Prince.

The people's hearts had grown dark and in a fit of rage, they beat and nailed the Good Prince to a tree. The Evil Knight and his band of minions, had taken control of these people.

Unexpectedly, the Good Prince was restored to Life! In so doing, his band of Good Knights fought valiantly against the Evil one. In a most compelling scene, the Good Prince and the Evil Knight cross blades in a mighty battle for the hearts of the people.

The Evil one is defeated. The people are set free! Sadly, some still reject him as their ruler.

Twenty minutes after this mother arrived to a most unusual scene, the drama was over. She was approached by a couple of American students. These students asked if she had understood the drama. They talked through the symbolism and told her of Jesus Christ the Saving One who wanted a relationship with her. She enthusiastically prayed with these students to receive Christ. She was given a Bible.

She returned home to find her children still asleep. She sat down and began to read this book. Her heart hungered for what she had been told. Every word seemed to apply to her life! She found what she had been searching for! How could this be? It seemed so random!

Her hope had been restored! She changed her mind. She was not going to use the poison. She was going to teach her children this story.

A couple of days later, she found a job. Her life was turning around!

The only thing missing was fellowship and the opportunity for additional growth. She remembered the name of the church the students had told her about. She found the address to PIB and she headed there to find out more.

This led her to Anabel and the telling of her story!

I can tell you now that she and her children are thriving at PIB and are active members who are learning so much!

Praise God for His amazing love for us! "I once was lost but now I'm found!"

Our obedience is someone else's Salvation!

Be encouraged! We are called to Go!

BJ told his friends, "Go til God says stop!"

Are you ready?



At 11:07 AM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

Tears came streaming down my face as I heard precious Anabel share this story in her class on Saturday. It meant a great deal to me because of my prayers for all the Awe Star teams. It meant even more because God allowed me to serve as a part of the team who ministered in the plaza that spring day.

A changed life changes lives. And when God allows us to see even a glimpse of the fruit of His work in those lives, we are blessed beyond measure.

praying in pink
with tender love,


At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God!

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We, too, spent last weekend at a Missions Conference (in the city of Veracruz, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico). It was awesome, and we too, left with a renewed sense of urgency for spreading the message of God's love and salvation.

One point that I basically knew, but was stated in such a succinct manner was that as churches, we are to minister in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the world, ALL SIMULTANEOUSLY.

That helps answer the objection that many have of, "Why go half-way around the world to spread the Gospel, when there are so many needs right here at home?" Yes, there are needs in whatever area we are in. So our question needs to become, "God, where do you want to LOCATE ME, as I serve you?"

It was also great to meet fellow pastors and leaders in our area, and to form friendships.

See ya!

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord...I can hardly see my screen to type!

What a glorious example of a living, loving, merciful God...and He desires to be our friend!

Oh how I love Him!

What a blessing to hear how He works through His people who are willing to make Him & His work the priority of their lives.

Continue the revolution & the charge!

Love in Him,


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