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On The Road in Santiago
Not For Sale
Last Thursday as I was getting off the boat at a small market place village in Santiago Guatemala I never expected the encounter that waited for me. As our team of missionaries perused the market area filled with artisans from the country we were amazed at the great talent displayed in their work of fine craftsmanship.
Many of us went our own way in pairs to look for specific items of interest. As I was walking with a team member a woman approached us. It is not uncommon in this country to be greeted by an onslaught of women and children selling their goods to what looks like apparent tourist. You could find fine fabrics woven into beautiful shawls, coverlets and quilts. Children were selling pens in which they would decorate with various colored threads carefully braided into intricate designs. They would unravel the pens and meticulously re-braid the threads to incorporate any name you wanted on them. It was simply amazing to watch them do this in just a matter of minutes.
As we walked a subtle incline of road through the marketplace a woman came out of no where and began tapping my shoulder. As I turned she held up sequenced bracelets she had made and was insisting that we buy from her. She would not take no for an answer but kept following us and desperately begging us to buy from her. She was unlike anyone else we had seen that day. Her clothes were tattered. Her feet were uncovered as she had no shoes to walk the dirty rouged terrain. Her feet were cracked and skin was hanging loosely off the sides of them. This outcast appeared somewhat frail but obviously determined to sell something. It was apparent to me and the team member that I was with that this woman had not sold anything all day. Her persistence somewhat wore on me and I was reminded of the persistent widow who came before the judge that I had read about in the book of Luke.
"There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' "For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'" (Luke 18:3 – 5) NASB
I looked at the other team member who was with me and said, “I’m willing to just give her money for she has nothing I am interested in. However, I want her to know it comes from Jesus." He spoke Spanish fluently and together we relayed the message of love to her. We told her that God loved her and we did too. That He had sent us here to tell her that. We told her that we were not giving her money because we wanted her to go away and leave us alone, but because God cares about her and He knows her need. Before our very eyes we saw a glorious transformation. Her countenance completely changed. Her face that was desperate and hard began to soften. Her deep brown eyes welled up with tears and she began to smile. As we prayerfully handed her the money she thanked us and began walking up that road a changed woman. No longer was she running from person to person in desperation. In fact as I looked back up that hill, I noticed her shoulders that had been coward downwards began to rise up and she spoke to no one passing her as she left our encounter.
As I walked towards the port to catch the boat back to our village, I too left a changed woman. I thought of how desperate my heart was before I met Christ. I thought of how very alone I had felt. I thought of how unlovely and somewhat of an outcast I was myself. I remember the first time I truly began to understand Gods love for me and how I too used to be intimidated and act cowardly before men. But after I found Jesus I was then able to look people in their eyes. I realized I had a Heavenly Father who loved me just the way I was.
I pray that the seed planted that day in the heart of this woman would grow and that she too would never forget this one thing: That God loved her so much that he sent us to meet her on the road in Santiago.
Copyright © 2005 Passion House Ministries, Jane E Morin
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Reader Count & Comments
04 Feb 2005
So clear a picture indeed of the awesome love with which He loves us. Thank you for sharing so eloquently this truth!
04 Feb 2005
Jane, May God bless you for your obedience, compassion and love. This is a heartwarming story!
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