Deep in the mountains and off the beaten path, lies the tiny village of Refugio. We started out before 9AM this morning to make the 2 hour drive. Arriving at the village, we came upon an outdoor church area complete with a cedar thatch roof and benches made from boards and cinderblocks. The day was foggy, cold (about 40°), and misty but the congregation still arrived. Many people walked more than an hour to get to the service. They were truly seeking God.
Our group consisted of Stephen, Tonyia, Pastor Rey, Pastor Ramiro, Pastora Berenice, Sandra, Edith and their families. The church area was in front of the home of the local pastor, Seledonio, and his wife. They graciously welcomed us into their home and fed us a meal of chicken, rice, and beans. As you can see from the photos, their only source of heat in their home is the cooking area and a bucket of coals.
Pastor Ramiro led the service and preached a moving sermon. After the worship service, we handed out gifts of candy, toys, Christian literature, and personal care supplies to the children. The photos show how overjoyed they were!
The ride home was eventful. Most of the road is barely wide enough for one car, and the road was blocked by a large truck that was having engine trouble. As our group was trying to avoid the truck, the suburban’s parking break handle broke off, stranding the vehicle in park. We eventually fixed the suburban, and made it past the truck to safely continue home.
Before leaving the church today we received the highest praise we could have imagined from the pastor’s wife. She simply said, “Thank you for bringing hope.” May you always have hope. Until next time, Dios de Bendiga/God Bless You.
Guest written by Jeanette and Lori Lewis (Steve and Tonyia’s niece/great niece)