We are still surprised when God provides in missions. You would think that after so many manifestations of His power and goodness we would come to expect it, but I admit, in my human-ness I often question if He is really going to show up and do something AGAIN! I feel like in every case God is reminding me of His faithfulness to those who love Him.
A great example of this occurred just a couple of months ago. We had recently begun laying cement floors in our pueblo. Our good friends and fellow FMC missionaries, Sammy and Lindsey Romero, began this project in their village in the Philippines a few years ago. Now that we were serving in an area where 90% of the houses had dirt floors, we felt God was calling us to show His mercy and love in this way as well, but all the way down in Leoncio Prado, Peru!
“Her strikingly beautiful smile was a stark contrast to their disturbing living conditions.”
In our search for those in need, we came across Cecilia, a beautiful pregnant woman and her three young children. Her strikingly beautiful smile was a stark contrast to their disturbing living conditions. I remember vividly the day we met her. It was such a cool day I couldn’t believe we were still in the rainforests of Peru. Everyone was wearing sweaters and hats, which is very unusual for our area of Peru. The wind was blowing strongly, adding to the chill in the air.
As we approached her house, Cecilia came to meet us. I was surprised to see her walking towards us from a pavilion about 100 yards away. She indicated that the wind was too strong and she was afraid to stay in her house. It was then that I noticed that the roof, which was made of sheet metal, was coming loose with every gust of wind. The walls of her house were made from rice sacks sewn together and nailed to sticks in some areas and bamboo in others. The sticks were all thin, and the bamboo weathered. It was not a surprise that the roof could not stay together in these gusts. Worst of all, because they were in a house made of rice sacks and sticks, they couldn’t even start a fire to keep warm for fear that the whole place would burn down. They were so cold.
“The sticks were all thin, and the bamboo weathered. It was not a surprise that the roof could not stay together in these gusts.”
Our hearts hurt for this poor woman and her three, soon to be four, children. Her husband could do nothing to help either because he lived where he worked, in a chacra (kind of like a farm and an orchard mixed together) a day’s walk away. He could only return on Sundays.
We immediately felt the Lord calling us to help, but how? It made no sense to put a cement floor in a house that was going to blow over any day. They needed a whole new home! After a brief visit, Jon and I were convinced that we needed to try and raise money to build them a home. She was due any day and we wanted to give that new baby a house before he arrived. We returned to their home the following day to take pictures in order to begin the process of building them a home and to pray with them for God to send benefactors. “We will only be able to build a house for you through the help of God, so let’s pray hard,” we told them as we were leaving. From there we went to the town about an hour away from us where we could use the internet and try to gather support, but God wanted to show us how INCREDIBLE He is instead.
The moment we opened our email we had already received a donation large enough to cover all the materials for the house and the labor that would be needed to build it! We didn’t even have to ask! GOD IS SO AWESOME! And He did it by working in the heart of a benefactor like YOU! We were able to begin work on the house two days later and completed it in less than a week with help from other members of our community and Cecilia’s husband, Bradley. I am still blown away by how that house came into being. Things like this are possible only when we listen to the little nudges of the Holy Spirit and do what we He wants us to do. God is always calling for our participation. We are His hands and feet! So the next time you feel God telling you to go give or do something, do it. You will be amazed at what He can accomplish with your, “Yes.”
“Things like this are possible only when we listen to the little nudges of the Holy Spirit and do what He wants us to do.”
Update: Cecilia had her little baby boy, Jonathan David (named after my husband!) the day we began building their house. It was a little early. Within a week they were able to move into a new brick home with cement floors and a secure roof! Thanks for everything Benefactors. You guys are amazing!
Leoncio Prado, Peru
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