Sandra and Carlos Enrique worshiping Jesus at a Church Mobilization conference.
Marielle Moguel describes her time getting to know a family who attends the Church Mobilization Conferences in Chichicastenango…
Last Tuesday night I sat across from Carlos and his wife at a truck stop restaurant on the side of the road. Our team had just spent four hours with him and the other members of his church who are preparing to go to Honduras with us in three months. It was now approaching 10:00PM as rain poured on the tin roof of the restaurant and his 9 year old daughter’s eyelids began to droop. It was late, but Carlos had been insistent on feeding the group of missionaries before sending us on the two hour drive home. As I grabbed another tortilla to scoop up the black beans on my plate I asked Carlos, “Why? Why do you want to be a missionary?”
You see, Carlos and his wife met in the United States where they were both living and working illegally. It is not an uncommon story from this small town where work is scarce. Young people leave their families, fathers leave their wives and children, and mothers leave their children with extended family to go in search of a job in the United States. Sometimes they make enough money to come back and start a business, but sometimes they never return to their families. The reality is that there is just not enough money in this small town.
Carlos grinned and responded with a nod, “That is a good question.” He didn’t hesitate with the answer: “Because Jesus said to go.”
It wasn’t until six years ago that Carlos and his wife began seeking a change. The reality was that their marriage was hanging by a thread and not a soul in their lives was supportive of them staying together…until they met the pastor of the church on the hill. He encouraged them to truly make Jesus the Lord of their lives.
As I listened to this family’s story I wondered at how things had changed. Their old reality was driven by fear. They did go, but they went because their situation seemed hopeless. They stayed together, but only because they had nobody else. They worried about the opinion of others. They worried about their finances. They wondered if their lives would ever not be broken and full of regrets and sorrow.
Somebody recently explained to me what a “Word of Power” is. When Jesus called to Peter, “Come,” he gave him a word of power that contained everything Peter needed to live in a new reality. The old reality said that he would sink the moment he stepped out of the boat and that he should fear the waves. The new reality, the truth, said that with his eyes focused on Jesus anything was possible.
Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all nations. When Carlos heard that word “go”, it had the power to change his reality. He used to cling tightly to money. He now feeds a group of missionaries with no hesitation. The last time he left the country was for his own gain. He now dreams of going and sharing the Good News. Nine years ago, Carlos was motivated to go by fear. He is now motivated by the love of Jesus Christ. Carlos and his family are living in a new reality, made possible by faith in Jesus Christ, the Word.
“That is a good question. Because Jesus said to go.”
For a redeemed family in this small town of Guatemala, it is truly that simple.