Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What a Week

This week, Ashley and I saw a change, a turning point, in the lives of several of our contacts. In coming weeks, I expect to be able to report huge things God has done in the lives of Jesica, Vanesa, and Sofia. For now, I want to share what’s going on with Rosi.

Last week began with a huge surprise-Rosi came to church. Rosi lives down the street from the pastors. We have only been able to maintain a friendship with her because she, like the pastors, is from Brasil. If it weren’t for that, she would have cast us off a long time ago. She describes herself as a religious person. She believes in God and once upon a time even studied to be a nun for a couple weeks before her brother got sick and she left the convent, but she thinks God is very distant. It's enough for her to believe He exists and carry on with her decent life. Her attitude has always been that she already has whatever God has to offer. The truth is, she has no idea how much God has in store for her.

Me, Juan, and Rachel at Carlos Paz
Rosi started attending our house of prayer a couple months ago with increasing regularity. She does whatever she can to avoid participating in discussion and always refuses to ask for prayer. She already has everything God could give her. Now, imagine our surprise when she showed up for church! She observed everything quietly without revealing emotion. Fortunately, she brought her eight year-old daughter, Gabi, who loved everything. At Tuesday’s house of prayer, Rosi and Gabi came again, but this time was a little different. Rosi nodded and smiled and even participated in discussion. At the end, she gave her typical “I don’t need any prayer” answer, but Ashley and I could see something changing in her. During the house of prayer, we planned a pizza dinner for Saturday to hang out together and invite more friends to our group. Rosi seemed a little overwhelmed with this idea, insisting that none of her friends were religious. We encouraged her to try to invite someone but to come to the dinner with or without a guest.

Celebrating Anndee's birthday with Pastor Yoan

Worship Team!!
It was a full week. We spent all Monday at the river (awesome), had extra meetings on Tuesday with a special visitor from Ecuador (Pastor Yoan—also awesome), and started rehearsing instruments Wednesday for the worship team (very awesome). Up until now, our Sunday morning worship has been led by worship videos, and I have been free from worship team duties. Our keyboard and guitar were finally released from the repair shop a couple weeks ago, so we’ve been practicing. Thursday morning, we got together at the church to rehearse all together. It went surprising well, as did the real thing on Sunday. As we finished, I check my phone and saw that I had several messages from our house of prayer group. I had to read the first message a couple times to process it because it was a prayer petition from Rosi. From Rosi! Asking for prayer! Reaching out to us, like a real church family, to ask for support and prayer to a real, active, powerful God. Then I actually read the message-her 1 ½ year old nephew in Brazil had swallowed a screw 2 days ago. It was lodged in his small intestine, and doctors were unsure whether to give it more time or to operate. Of course, it couldn’t be something simple. I glanced through the responses and realized that none of them were from Pastora or Ashley. The other women in the group were writing encouragement and prayers. My eyes filled with tears at the beauty of these baby disciples encouraging others with such confident faith.

Laura: I will pray for him, what's
his name?
Rosi: Kaua Laura: God is with him
Rosi: I believe he is a little angel
Laura: Don't despair, God will
do his work, I will pray for him.
Graciela: Everything will go well
have faith
We prayed as a worship team and continued to pray throughout the day that God would buffer the screw and remove it from this baby without operation or injury. We also prayed for Rosi’s family, that God would use this miracle to show them (and her) his glory and presence. Friday morning, we received another text-the screw had come out without operation, and the baby was completely fine. That’s right. God is amazing.

But wait, there’s more. On Saturday, Rosi came to the pizza dinner and brought a friend, Joana. Joana’s daughter is in Gabi’s class at school. Joana is an atheist, but she came to the church with Rosi to eat pizza with new friends. She also heard a short devotional on how God and our Christian friends help protect and support us, and she laughed with us through all three rounds of the nouns game. It was a fantastic evening.

Rosi and Gabi were back at church on Sunday. We are praying that she will continue to open her heart to a real and thriving relationship with God. Please join us in prayer for her and for the salvation of her husband and 11 year-old son. 

Dario, Pastor Junior, Joana, Rosi
Obviously, we had a good time

Karina, Dario, Pastor Junior, Joana, Rosi
These are my favorite pictures of Joana and Rosi

Pastor Junior, Joana, Rosi, Graciela
We had 10 Cordobese adults and 3 kids join us (19 total)