Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eight Years in the Making

As I sat across the table from this couple whose story you will read I remember how impress I was with their unselfish heart and all the way home form Columbia South Carolina I prayed, “God please allow me to be part of their life and story.” That was ten years ago and their passion for the Mapuche people continues to grow. I am privileged to walk with this couple for nearly a decade and share their story with you. 

Chad tells it this way: It started with a shovel and a truck stuck in the snow on the side of a hill but it ended 8 years later with an entire family accepting Christ. Stuck in the snow in the mountains, Pastor Daniel and friends were approached by Sebastian. He had a shovel and lived in the house where the truck was stuck in front of. Was it by chance... no, I don't think so. It was a divine opportunity whose seeds would not sprout for eight years.

This eight year relationship took watering and nurturing. Each time Pastor Daniel was in Quinquen he made a point to visit Sebastian and his family. They shared a meals and spent time together. They shared life. Relationships were strengthened and grew into a friendship.

Two weeks ago Pastor Daniel and I headed to the mountains to the same community with a team of 12 from a church in Arkansas. Our goal was to share the love of God with the people that live there. We visited families while providing health screening, listening, chopping fire wood for the winter and sharing life and love with them. The team also did several skits of Bible stories. Afterwards, Pastor Daniel extended an invitation to accept Christ. It all started to make sense to Sebastian. As Daniel explained who Jesus was Sebastian, his wife and teenage daughter all decided to follow Christ. Wow, we rejoiced with them.

The next day we returned to their house. Chad began discipling them.  Several team members chopped wood in the drizzling rain. Several others shared stories with the children. Sebastian’s other daughter and 23 year old niece also accepted Christ! We celebrated with them.

Eight years ago the seeds were planted. It took love and time to water the authentic friendship not knowing how things would turn out. Taking time to just love people God places in your path places the responsibility for their "coming to Himself" squarely in His lap. We just took advantage of the opportunity and were just being ourselves. As I said, each trip to the mountains there was watering. But the harvest came on this particular trip. The glory belongs to God! Chad and Daniel plan to return to the mountains before the snow sets in when travel becomes difficult or impossible.

Tonight as you lay down to sleep you can close your eyes knowing that the church is growing among the Mapuche people. Take time to see in you minds eye this family. Pray for Sebastian and his family as they grow in Christ and began to share with those around them. Please pray for Chad and Pastor Daniel as they continue to equip people to study God’s word. Pray for the Mapuche who are largely unreached people of southern Chile and Argentina.

This is your investment. This is your joy.

Mark Szymanski

Won’t you please consider joining our financial support team? You can send contributions to: United World Mission, PO Box 602002, Charlotte NC 28260-2002 and write ACCT# 11013 in the memo line. Further info about on-line giving and other programs see www.uwm.org. Thank you to our present supports that allow us to impact the many lives across the planet. Again, THANKS!

No comments: