While shopping for some fruits and veggies at the market yesterday, I ran into Rodrigo, a friend of mine. I met Rodrigo at a church I visited and he works at the hospital next to my house. Every time I see him, he always goes out of his way to ask how I am and invite me to whatever event is coming up at his church. He invited me and another missionary I was with to dinner at his house tonight. We accepted, thinking it would just be the two of us and his family. Well, after talking to several other missionaries, we realized we weren’t the only ones he invited. He had invited 5 other missionaries and several Ecuadorian friends! It wasn’t until I walked into his house and sat down to eat that I realized the true reason for the invite.
Rodrigo began by thanking us all for coming and told us a little about how God has been working in his life recently. He gave the illustration of holding onto something tightly in his fist and how God has slowly been prying away one finger at a time. He then said, just like the family of the prodigal son, his family wanted to celebrate his yielding to the Lord and just celebrate God in general. And, we had all been invited to celebrate with him!
Rodrigo pulled out his guitar and we all began singing praises to God. Then, when he started singing “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” all of us “gringos” began singing it along in English. Rodrigo’s pastor prayed, his father prayed, and he prayed again. Then, his family began serving dinner. As they served our food, I looked around his tiny house. This house, with no more than 4 or 5 rooms, houses Rodrigo, his parents, and 6 of his 7 brothers and sisters. His family is the definition of poor. And, here they are, serving us plates loaded with chicken, rice, french fries, and vegetables! After we ate, we sang some more. Rodrigo and his mother and father (pictured above) also sang for us in Cichua, a tribal language here. Then we sang “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” in three different languages – English, Spanish, and Cichua. It was an amazing night of just praising God in whatever language we could!
However, the thing I will never forget about this night was Rodrigo’s prayer at the end of the night. He prayed for each person there by name. When he got to me, he prayed something along the lines of, “Father, thank you for Beth. Thank you for sending her here. And thank you for her family who was willing to give her up to come here and serve You. Please bless her and help her feel Your love through us.” WOW! Words can not explain how touching this was to me! To hear someone, in a language I’m still struggling to understand, pray to the same God I pray to every day, and ask Him to bless me. Thank you, God, for reminding me that you are at work EVERYWHERE and that You can use ANYONE for Your glory.
“Después de esto miré, y he aquí una gran multitud, la cual nadie podía contar, de todas naciones y tribus y pueblos y lenguas, que estaban delante del trono y en la presencia del Cordero, vestidos de ropas blancas, y con palmas en las manos y clamaban a gran voz, diciendo: La salvación pertenece a nuestro Dios que está sentado en el trono, y al Cordero.
Y todos los ángeles estaban en pie alrededor del trono, y de los ancianos y de los cuatro seres vivientes; y se postraron sobre sus rostros delante del trono, y adoraron a Dios, diciendo: Amén. La bendición y la gloria y la sabiduría y la acción de gracias y la honra y el poder y la fortaleza, sean a nuestro Dios por los siglos
de los siglos. Amén.” (Revelation 7:9-12)