It Happened 13 Years Ago and I Did Not Know

It Happened 13 Years Ago and I Did Not Know

My recent trip to Mexico

Last week I had the privilege to preach in several Mayan villages in the Yucatan in Mexico. Some of the congregations in these Mayan villages are facing different kinds of struggles. It does not matter what your nationality is or where you live, the devil will always try to derail the faith of those who are faithful to God. I was very happy to preach each night and spend time in each village and answer questions that they have. I am so glad that for many years the Beltline congregation has been working in establishing dozens of churches in this part of the world.

My visit to the Mayan village of Ixil

One of the places to preach at night and answer questions was in the Mayan village of Ixil. It was about 8:00 PM Sunday night. The brothers in Ixil had invited people in their community to the gospel meeting and they fed those who came to visit. We were sitting down and having a Mexican coca cola when one of the members at Ixil came to say hi. His name was Cruz, he was in a wheelchair and his wife was with him. As soon as I shook his hand, he started to tell me a story.

The story of Cruz, from Ixil

The first phrase that came out of the mouth of Cruz after I shook his hand was: “Do you remember the world cup in South Africa?”. The question took me by surprise, I said “I think I do” (I follow every world cup every 4 years). Then Cruz said. “That’s when I was baptized. I was baptized thirteen years ago”. I was very happy for Cruz that he had been baptized for that long and that he is still faithful and active in his congregation in Ixil.

It all made sense

Cruz started to explain in detail how he was converted. He said something like this: “See, in June of 2010 when the world cup was held in South Africa, it was the same June that the group of Americans from Alabama came to this village of Ixil. I used to drink alcohol and was a bad person and in one of those times that I drank a lot, I crashed my motorcycle. I barely survived the accident. I was in a hospital bed for many months, and I lost the use of my legs and the doctor said that I will spent the rest of my life in a wheel chair.

A few months passed after I came out of the hospital and my wife heard that there was going to be a free clinic in the building of the Church of Christ in Ixil. My wife and I decided to go and visit the clinic where the Americans were coming. I remember very clearly the week of June in 2010, because it was the same week of the soccer world cup in South Africa. My wife and I visited the clinic and we were welcomed by the members of the church in Ixil. They took our names, and we were treated with dignity, the American doctor examined me and gave me and my wife medicine. A few days later after the American group left, I was visited by members of the Ixil congregation. They wanted to see how I was doing and before they left, they gave me a Bible as a gift. I invited them to come back again to read the Bible with me. I would say that at the end of same month of June, I was baptized. The following week, my wife was baptized. I started telling my extended family about the gospel and my mother, my aunt and other relatives have been baptized, about twelve of them so far.”

This is God’s hand

I was so excited and moved by the conversion story of Cruz. I told to myself; I did not know this! I was so glad I came to this village and learned how God has changed this young man and so many people around him. I could not get back fast enough to Decatur and share this story with the Beltline congregation in Decatur. Maybe for me who went on that trip, it was just one more trip. But, not for Cruz or every single patient that was seen during that week that we went to serve. For each person in that local village that we visited is one shot, is one opportunity for them to learn about their creator and know how much He loves them and wants them to be saved. No, it is not just one more trip, it is more than that!

God, doesn’t take breaks and is constantly looking for those hearts like Cruz who are seeking to learn about the truth. Let us do our part, God can use us as instruments to bring others to Him. “For we are co-workers in God’s service…” 1 Corinthians 3:9

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