“Dios le bendiga, hermana (God bless you, sister). I’ve heard that many times since arriving in El Salvador to work alongside our Compassion brothers and sisters. And the thing is – they mean it, and in a way many of us have not experienced before.
The past 24 hours have been filled with rich fellowship with our Salvadoran hosts, and by many recounting of the miracles God has worked in their lives. We listened as a pastor remembered how a gang tried to poison him when he couldn’t pay the bribe they demanded, how he pursued the gang leader to invite him to church and how he wept when the gang leader was shot in the head just two blocks from his church reportedly on his way to take the pastor up on his offer.
We’ve been awestruck as people have told us about times they have fasted and prayed for God’s provision of food when there was nothing to eat, for healing when they were sick and there were no other options, and for changed hearts just when all hope was gone. And God provided miraculously for them.
My first reaction was simply to acknowledge that God is working more miracles among the poor in the Majority World than He is in my neighborhood. And that might be true. But I’ve also been convicted that it is just as possible that the people we’ve been spending time with simply have the spiritual eyes to see and the faith to believe the miraculous works that God is doing all around them. They consistently talk about the Lord being all they need, and really in many cases they have nothing else.
This reality was cemented on a visit to the home of a Compassion-sponsored child. Veronica joined the Compassion project 3 months ago, about the same time her father was put in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Her mother, Marlena, has high blood pressure, but still works as a vendor selling candy on the public buses. On a good day she earns $3 profit which pays for the children’s daycare, some food for them and a little extra to drop off at the jail for her husband, and maybe enough spare change to pay for some electricity to light the one bulb in their home.
At the end of our visit we asked if we could pray with her and asked for her prayer requests. She did not ask for a house that was not damaged by the earthquake, or a roof that does not leak, or a neighborhood without gangs. Instead, she thanked God for the miraculous blessing of her children, and simply that He is the Lord of her life and the one thing she can count on each morning when she wakes. The only thing she asked of Him was to keep her alive long enough to raise her children and that He would protect them.
We gave Veronica a coloring book as we were leaving. Marlena took it, hugged it to her chest, and with tears rolling down her face said, “I thank God that my daughter now has something I never had – her very own book to keep as her own.”
The Miracles of God – children to love and care for, health to live another day to praise Him, a book….
I’m thinking now about the miracles happening all around me and asking the Lord to give me the spiritual eyes to see them. What miracles are happening all around you?
Heidi Baker for the team