Many times, Jesus reaches into the brokenness of peoples' lives when they least expect it. We spent our day yesterday (February 2, 2022) at the Land of Hope. It is a very small compound adjacent to the city dump in Escuintla, Guatemala. The people who live by the dump are the poorest of the poor here. The people who live in this small compound called "Land of Hope," have been rescued by Jesus and given a hope that most of us cannot even comprehend.
One man we met yesterday is a former gang member. In his destitute and desperate life circumstances, he just happened to be walking past the Land of Hope last April, as their pastor/leader was preaching. He stopped to listen. When the service was over, the pastor went and introduced himself to the man, who's name is Juan Carlos. He loved what the Pastor was saying about God and love and forgiveness, but he didn't believe that he could ever be forgiven for all of his sins, because he had lived a hard and crime-filled life of hate as a hitman. But the Holy Spirit was even then, wooing this man to Himself, and Juan Carlos became a follower of Jesus.
Fast forward to yesterday, when we met Juan Carlos for the first time. He had a huge smile and a sweet spirit -- and he participated in our training, taking notes, telling his story, and sharing the Gospel as we all practiced together. THEN, he went out with others into this community to share the hope that he had found. He is like a modern-day Saul/Paul!
We were moved as we watched Juan Carlos walk out of the gates at Land of Hope and into a community that needs Jesus. Juan Carlos gets it! He wants to be a disciple that makes more disciples -- and we are thrilled that we get to see it happen!
Jesus is changing lives in this place and we are grateful to be a part of it. Please keep praying for individuals like Juan Carlos. Their examples of what God can do when someone accepts His mercy and grace are truly changing the world.