(December 21, 2021)
Guest written by Jeanette, niece of Stephen and Tonyia
I have been to Refugio many times. The drive is a very difficult two hours on a dirt road that barely clings to the side of the mountain. There is a thousand (or more) foot drop offs most of the way. But, I am here to let you know that this is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. The views are breathtaking.
We arrived to a smiling Pastor Seldonia and his wife. While we setup a tarp and got our lesson ready for children’s church, Pastor Seldonia’s wife and her mother cooked us a wonderful lunch of tacos made with homemade corn tortillas. Most of the congregation arrived on donkeys, prompting us to notice that the “church parking lot” in this instance was very different from what were used to back in Texas. Church began with praise songs led by LuLu and soon the children were instructed to go with Ana to the children’s service.
We had a smaller group of kids today, but they enjoyed the singing, dancing, and the lesson of Christ’s birth. One child in particular stood out today, and his name was Jesus. This young man was 10 years old. He knew the words to every Christian song we sang and several more that even the teacher Ana did not know. He also knew the story of Christ’s birth by heart. I talked to his mother after services were over and asked if they spent a lot of time in church or if his father was a pastor. His mother said that neither was the case. That they lived more than an hour away (and walked to this church when they could attend), but that her son, Jesus, just really liked reading the bible and learning the Christian songs. We told her that he was very intelligent and that we hope that someday Jesus might consider being a pastor. His mom was very happy about that.
The adults were treated to a sermon from Pastor Rey. He preached on 2 Corinthians 5:17. He expressed how we are made new when we are reborn in Christ. Also, how as Christians we are to be seen differently. When you have the Holy Spirit, Christ changes you, transforms you, makes you different so you can impart that to others. This change needs to begin in your home so that you can then take it to others.
Finally, the small group of children were given gift boxes just like the ones we have distributed at the other villages. They loved the contents! We also had enough sock hats left that those were given out today as well. We also brought blankets, sheets, and bath towels for the congregation today. All were a huge hit. I want to thank everyone again for all the donations.
Every time I am given the opportunity to be part of this ministry, I am floored by the way God moves in these tiny villages. It is such a privilege to meet these people and especially these children. I am reminded how all we need is Christ. Tomorrow we head out to Purisma. So, until tomorrow, Dios de Bendiga…God Bless You.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Note: Click on a photo to see it larger.