Buenaaas! Hooo…Jorge!

The call came from the street. Jorge laid down his spoon and rolled tortilla and went out through the sheet rippling in the doorway. His wife and three daughters followed him out, wondering who could be calling in the middle of the afternoon.

“Hey, old friend, how’s it going?”

“Jorge, what’s going on? It’s time to paint the cathedral again. You know you’ve helped every year. We’re getting together tomorrow to begin.”

“Look sir, I appreciate you coming by but I’m not that religion any more. I’m a Christian and so with all due respect, you’ll have to find someone else to help with the painting.”

Jorge’s friend refused to be dissuaded, cajoling and pleading on the basis of good times, old friendship, and the uselessness of changing religion.

Jorge patiently, gently tried to make him see his drinking days were over. His painting of cathedrals was over. His old life was over.

“You’ll still be one of us!” He finally tried.

Jorge’s daughter had it. She butted through her sisters and past her mom until she was next to her dad and nose to nose with the visitor.

“I want to tell you something,” she began, “I don’t really understand everything my dad believes now, I don’t know much of what has been going on but this I do know. My dad is a different person. He is a better person. He is completely changed. I’d rather have him like this now than back when he was friends with all of you. So let him believe whatever he wants to believe and just leave him alone!”

With that outburst the conversation ended, the old friend ceding to Jorge’s wishes and duly leaving him in peace.

A few weeks later Jorge was baptized in the Laguna de Términos, the largest lagoon in Mexico.

His life indeed had changed, precipitated not by a new religion but by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Their family first heard the gospel 15 years ago when David began preaching on the Island of Carmen. They attended regularly for awhile then lost interest and dropped off.

A couple years ago the assembly in Carmen began having open air meetings in a park right around the corner from Jorge’s home. We helped them some, but it was the believers there who carried on faithfully, week after week. They were the ones who brought the bread and coffee. They made friends and gained their confidence. They were the ones who God gave the joy of seeing Jorge won to the gospel.

Like the ancient Egyptian who scattered seed across fields flooded by the Nile, then waited the long, hot summer months for the promise of juicy melons, so we cast our bread upon the waters expecting that after many days we will, indeed, find it again.

Jorge sent David a video not long ago on a Saturday night with the caption “This is us right now.” It was the hall in Carmen, nearly every chair filled, singing praises to God.

At times gospel work can feel like hiking up a mountain in dense fog. Then the Sun comes out, the clouds dissipate and suddenly the emerald vista shines with hope and promise. It is then that the years and cliffs and the curves and waiting begin to make sense.

Souls can take years. Maturity takes years.

Perhaps one of the greatest traits of mission work is patience.

Please pray for the rest of Jorge’s family: his wife, daughters and parents, that they too would be saved.

(Per usual, I have changed Jorge’s name. I hope you understand the need I feel to respect individuals’ privacy. The world is a very connected place these days.)

February 5th, Laguna de Términos

2 thoughts on “Changed

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