A voice message was left in my cell phone three days ago by a Spanish speaking person. It was a message spoken in very good English, as a matter of fact I may say that it was a better English than mine. The message was left by Benny, a person who I baptized in Alabama about twelve years ago.
I met Benny one morning as he called me inquiring about English classes. He saw my ad about our English classes for all those who wanted to learn English. He wanted to attend the classes, but he was working at night and was asking if there was another class at a different time. I told him that if he wanted, I could give him a special class session in the mornings in my office. He accepted.
Benny learned English very fast and the best part is that I was able to teach him about the Bible too. Benny told me that he had a B.A. in marketing from a University in Guatemala City. He said that his goal was always to work in marketing in the U.S. and to be a big star in marketing in New York City. He said his dream was one day to point at a sign in New York City in Times Square and say, “see that billboard on that building, I did that.”
Benny wanted to learn English and make it to New York and make it big there. Decatur, Alabama was just a stop on the way to Benny’s dream. Benny did not know that God had big plans for him, but not in New York City. God was going to use Benny to advertise his message of salvation back in Guatemala, exactly where he just came from.
Benny was baptized one day as I was driving with him toward Lake Guntersville. In the following weeks and months Benny learned English and learned more and more about the Bible. Benny went back to Guatemala about ten years ago and got his master’s degree in Bible there. He has been an instructor in the school of preaching in Guatemala City. He has taught hundreds of preachers there and those preachers are now preaching all over Central America.
That is the voice message I received three days ago. It was Benny, the young man who did not speak English at all when I met him. Now he was leaving me a message in perfect English. The young man who wanted to advertise and make it to New York City now is advertising the gospel of Jesus Christ in Guatemala.
I thank God for Beltline and for the role it plays in teaching the gospel to the lost world. Like in the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts. People were coming to Jerusalem from many parts of the world and there in Jerusalem, they heard the gospel preached to them in their own language. Decatur is like a version of that, people are coming from many nationalities. The gospel is being preached to them and they carry the gospel to their own people wherever they may go.
“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.”