Silver And Gold Have I None
I must confess how at times I can feel so inadequate to serve God’s people here. I feel like Moses when, “From out of the burning bush, God called him to speak for him before Pharaoh. And Moses answered, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord I have never been eloquent. […] I am slow of speech and tongue. […] Please send someone else.’” (Exodus 4:10-13).
However, God keeps reassuring me that he will equip me with all I will need. God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called! (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
This past month we have been spending our free time working with Magaly. It has been an experience out of this world. We can only be thankful to God for entrusting this beautiful family to us, for calling us from across the world to serve them.
We are a step closer to getting Magaly’s DNI (ID card) and after that we will be able to take her to the doctor to see if her medical condition is treatable. In the beginning, we were wanting just to take her to the doctor because she has seizures and the right side of her body does not function as it should, preventing her from taking care of her children.
God most definitely had different plans for us. It was God’s desire for us to journey with this family. If there had been a quick and easy fix to her problem, we would have never really gotten to know Magaly, her four children, and the poverty and abuse they must live in day in and day out.
I am glad that Magaly and I have become friends, true friends, because now she knows when her husband is abusing her physically, she has a place to come to until he calms down; that when she and her children get kicked out of their home, she has a place to take her four children, instead of having to stay outside all day in the heat with no food or water.
I am embarrassed to say I was so reluctant at first to allow her a place of refuge in my home. In my thoughts I allowed the Devil to enter in. I allowed him to tell me that the pueblo will start to say I am interfering between her and her husband. After all, my children and I already receive the uneasy stares from the on-lookers as we walk to her house each and every day. It’s like they are watching to see what is going to happen to us. They seem bewildered that we keep walking to her house, wondering how can we fixed their problems.
In my mind I can honestly say I have had the same thoughts, that this problem is way over my head. I have no money to offer them. I do not have the funds to build them a new home or to get plumbing and water into their home. Or to hire someone to put cement floors in their home so they would not have to live in such filth. I also began to believe that I had no right to enter in to the emotional and physical problems between Magaly and her family: I am not a licensed counselor, so how can I help her and her problems? So I was really wanting just to focus on her medical condition. That seemed easier to me. Like Moses I feared to speak. I was scared what would happen if I had to talk for real. It is easy to deliver and help with someone’s physical needs, but the emotional and the spiritual needs of someone, that work must be meant for someone else – Not I; I am not qualified.
The time I feared the most did come. I was preparing dinner for myself and my children after a long day of ministries. We heard a knock on the door and standing there was Magaly crying with her four children in tow, each carrying a plastic bag of clothes. We quickly invited them in, and asked her to tell us what was going on. She began to tell us that her husband kicked her out of the house, that he was upset because she did not clean the bedroom before he came back from working in the rice fields. She admitted to me that she did not because she was upset that her children and her were not allowed to eat the food that we had brought to them the day before, and they were hungry.
By this time her mother-in-law was now banging on our door screaming and yelling. I invited her in to talk with us. I just simply wanted to calm her down so I could figure out what was going on. As I spoke to the mother in law, she clearly did not want to speak with me. She would not answer any question that I had, nor did she want to speak about why Magaly was kicked out of the house. She just kept her head down, saying she was tired and just wanted Magaly to follow her back home. Sadly the only question she answered out of the many I had was, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT LOVE IS?” The mother-in-law quickly and clearly answered “NO” in a loud voice. Showing even more signs of aggravation she also told me that I had no place being Magaly’s friend, that I was a gringa and I have no authority to visit her home, and that I should be careful interfering in matters not of my own.
With a broken heart, I told her that I loved her and that I love her daughter-in-law Magaly and all of them, that it did not matter if I was not welcomed by her or her son, that I will not stop visiting Magaly and her children due to her threats, that if they wished my family and I harm than so be it: we are here ready to die to bring the love of Christ to them, to bring that love to the darkest corners of the world, which was clearly their home.
At that moment I asked Magaly’s mother in law if I could pray over her. I held up a bottle of Holy water and ask her if she knew what I was holding. She quickly responded, “Yes. It’s Holy Water.” I asked her if she knew what holy power the water had. She replied with a hasty “NO.” I told her that this water can make miracles happen, that with this water she can be able to experience and feel what love is. I placed some on her forehead and on her neck. We began to pray that God may enter into her heart and allow her to feel peace and love. I begged God to show her how to love and protect her daughter-in-law and her grandkids from the abuse of her son. I commanded any evil spirits binding this woman to be gone in Christ’s Name.
I had no clue what I was doing! To be honest I was not doing anything, even though to a person with little faith it seemed that it was I who was talking. It was Christ who came to defend Magaly and to speak the truth to her mother-in-law. I know this for a fact because I would have been too scared and worried because I am not qualified to preform such works.
Over the course of the next few days, we saw miracles.
I promised to the mother-in-law and to Christ I would continue to make a visit every day to her home. The following day came quickly; during my morning prayer I was reminded of the power of the Holy Water from the night before. I made sure I was armed and ready for a fight – not of the human kind, but for a fight against evil spirits. I went to their house with an entire bottle of Holy Water. I had boldly been given the command by our Lord to bravely drive out what ever dark, evil spirit took up residence in their house. So with holy water in hand and only the prayer that God gave me at that moment, I unloaded the whole bottle of Holy Water in every square inch of Magaly’s home, casting out Satan and begging Christ to shine within, for the darkness of evil, lies and fear to be driven out of their home.
Then the next day we were walking to Magaly’s home to make a visit upon returning from our ministry in a nearby pueblo. When I turned the corner I saw a lady standing outside. I was shocked. I had never seen anyone ever go to Magaly’s home. No one ever wants to walk to the outskirts of the pueblo to visit this family whose living conditions one could say are worse than an animal’s. When I finally reached Magaly’s home the lady standing outside introduced herself to me. She said she use to live here in Shimbillo years ago and knew Magaly. The woman told me she was traveling through and felt an urged to stop and drop off some food to Magaly and check on how she was doing, that it had been a year or so since she had been by to check on her. Wow, what a miracle! Little did that lady know, we were wanting to bring food for Magaly that day but we did not have any money to do so until our stipend came in the next day. We could only praise God for His goodness and the gift of her visit.
The next day we were on our way to Magaly’s home again but we did not even make it. We were almost there and as we were getting closer Magaly was approaching us with all four of her children. To our surprise she had taken a bath and all four of her children had as well– something we had not seen since we began our friendship months ago. I asked where she was going. With a smile they said they were going to the park to play. For once the encounter we had with them seemed light and normal. There was a certain glow among all of the children and their mom. Since we had just received our stipend of donations we were able to purchase groceries for them which we were on our way to deliver to them, so we offered to take them to her house and leave them with her mother-in-law. Little did we know that we were about to see another miracle.
When we got to the home we were greeted with a smile and invited to sit a while by Magaly’s mother-in-law. We took the opportunity given to us by God to read the day’s Gospel with her. Walking away from the visit my children and I were in awe of the work of Christ and the miracle of the Holy Water. Whatever evil spirit was taking hostage of their home seemed to have fled.
We can only praise God for the miracles that he has allowed us to see. As I reflect on the only things I have to offer those we serve here as we embrace living in poverty among them, I see that my family and I must have faith strong enough to believe that our love of Christ, our prayers, and a bottle of Holy Water is enough to perform miracles in Christ’s name. As Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stand up and walk!” (Acts 3:6).
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