02/06/2010: The Miracle of a Book

The Miracle of a Book

in Guatemala

February 6, 2010

I last wrote about our trip and the work of the Spanish Herald in Central America. Although our mission trip stopped there, our work for souls did not. We went on to Guatemala, the beautiful home country of my wife, Livi.

As usual, it is wonderful seeing family that you haven’t seen for years. Whenever we go to Guatemala we are shown a good time by each member of Livi’s family. This time was no exception. Guatemala is a beautiful place; filled with unequaled natural beauty. But we felt that if all we went for was to enjoy our time, we would be wasting our time.

We were happy to have Henry and Kathy Smith from the Spanish Herald accompany us. They had basically chauffeured us through Central America. They had met Livi’s parents and sister, Sandra, before and especially wanted to encourage them in their walk with Jesus.

Our mission trip through Central America was an entering wedge to share our faith and our God. We were able to share with some small church groups and also with Livi’s family. We experienced many miracles; but I can’t share them all.

During our stay with the Jimenez family in Jutiapa, Honduras, Noel Jimenez gave me the book Escape to God, in Spanish. I didn’t know that it was in Spanish. I was thankful, but didn’t realize at the time how much of an impact that book would make.

Renato and his wife, Blanca

Livi’s brother, Renato, is a Roman Catholic, but he seems to always be searching for truth. He was the first one I thought of togive the book to. It turned out that both he and his wife had been deeply impressed to get out of the city and the whole system as far as possible. He has been unemployed since August, 2008, because he saw corruption in his high level government job. Because he did not want to be involved in it, he just had to quit. In fact, he was even fearful for his life.

He started reading the book the very day I gave it to him and it was exactly what he needed. It has led to many amazing Bible studies and conversations. He doesn’t want to do anything unless it is in agreement with the Bible.

He came up with a “pilot plan” for moving onto his portion of the family farm. On weekends he and his family go to the farm and stay in a very small structure, called a rancho. It is basically a bedroom and a kitchen with just a crude wood stove. The bedroom is about 10 by 14 feet and they have eight people in their family. He is very motivated to live simply.

Since this is not on his portion of the farm, he has since constructed a small place for his family that he can call his own. It is so difficult because he has no job and is in a lot of debt. He has had to sell his only means of transportation to pay off some of his debt. We helped him some when we were there and Livi’s parents and her brother and Sandra are helping him as well, but it is very difficult. Some weekends he does not even have enough money to take the bus to the farm.

Through all this his faith has remained strong. Now his whole family has read the book together and they are reading the Bible every day. We have purchased The Adventist Home to give to him as he likes the writings of Ellen White.

The following event shows the faith he has and some of the rewards that God has for him. It can also be an encouragement to us.

When we were there, we walked his portion of the farm and Livi and I helped him pick out a spot to have a better home if they ever got enough money to build it. After we left he decided to start clearing the shrubs. He got a big pile and decided to burn it. After awhile he noticed it was getting out of control. They tried to fight it with water and dirt, but it was definitely out of control. His family was scared. It was heading on one side to his brother’s property and on the other to his sister’s property.

Some of his family went to get help from Livi’s parents and Sandra while his son stayed to help fight the fire. After futilely attempting to fight it, he realized that he was not doing what he had recently learned to do and that is to trust in God.

Renato and his son bowed their heads and asked God to put out the fire. They watched as the fire went down and then out. It was a miracle before their eyes. Then he surveyed the damage. The fire had burned all the way to the fence dividing his property and his brother’s and stopped. It was the same way on the other side. In fact, the fire actually cleared all the land he intended to clear for his future house.

Renato and his family know God loves them and is all powerful. They have seen Him in action. They are changed people. Are you?

I want to express my thanks to Henry and Kathy Smith. Because of their presence and encouraging words to Livi’s parents and Sandra, they are all stronger in the faith. They were with us for almost two weeks. They helped with the worship services and became part of the family in many ways.

We can make a difference by being who we are, if we are connected to the Vine. We can help with our presence, our prayers and our funds. This is just one of the miracles coming out of the influence of the radio station in Honduras and all the workers in Central America. There are many more miracles. We thank those who have supported the work of the Spanish Herald and encourage you all to pray about supporting the work in Central America. We feel we need the guidance of our Lord. Please pray for that.

Renato's family with our family and friends at an Adventist gathering.

Renato and his family have been through a lot recently. He has been promised a job only ten minutes from the farm. They kept telling him he would start the next week. When the day they said came, they told him it would have to be the next week. Now they have even signed a contract, but they keep putting him off. This has been going on for about two months. He is now pretty discouraged. We are praying for him and would like you to do the same. He has a large mortgage that he was able to catch up on by selling his vehicles. Now he doesn’t know how he will be able to pay it. He fears he will suffer some serious consequences if he cannot pay it. Please, please pray for his situation.

God bless you all as you consider these things and as you do your part in working for Jesus.

By Jeff Bell, The Spanish Herald, P.O. Box 143, Dillard, OR 97432.