Sunday, October 29, 2006

A rainy day, a dog, and a witch doctor

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands... [Isaiah 55:11-12]

Sovereignty at work in a stray dog

If anyone is struggling to believe that God is still a God of details, of intricate grace, consider this true story that I heard last week!

Guillerma Zapata (Guille) received a Gideon Testament at an engineering university; and, after reading it, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Near his house was a small church where he began to worship God and grow in his new faith.

Eventually, Guille got a job as a petroleum engineer in a small town called Huancabamba in the north of Peru, believed to be a stronghold of witches and warlocks. His pastor commented that Guille would be the first missionary going out from his small church, and during the weeks before Guille’s departure for Huancabamba, the good pastor prepared him, among other things, to lead Bible studies.

Once in his new job, Guille put out a sign saying, “Mining Engineer gives free Bible lessons.” Not a single person attended his meetings.

One day, it began to rain very hard, and the water entered his little room. In desperation, Guille began bailing the water out with a bucket, throwing it through the open door into the street. Suddenly a dirty, mangy dog darted into Guille’s room, grabbed his Gideon Testament in its mouth, and ran back out the door. Guille sprinted after the dog, trying to save his precious Bible, but before he could reach the dog, it ran into the shack of a well-known witch doctor. Guille decided to give it up rather than enter that cursed place…

However, two weeks later, someone knocked on Guille’s door… It was the witch doctor! He asked Guille about the Bible lessons, wanting to learn about the holy book. The witch doctor said that one rainy evening an “extremely ugly dog” carried a little blue book into his hut. He opened it to Psalm 115, and began to read about the sin of idolatry. As he read, he began to sense something missing in his life, and wanted to know what he needed. So Guille shared with him God’s amazing love and forgiving grace…

Thus, the warlock, Leoncio Guerrero, accepted Jesus Christ, and then went out and led his whole family to the Lord. And that was not all… later Leoncio introduced his niece to Guille, and she is now Mrs. Guillerma Zapata! Together Guille and his bride pastor a church in Jaen, Peru.

Do you need to believe in this kind of grace? :-)

Perhaps a trip to Jaen, Peru, and a conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Zapata, will lift your heart! Or, perhaps their story will reach you across the miles, and you will find your own mirror in the pages of their holy book...


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