Friday, January 29, 2010

Camila: An Instrument of God

Camila is a four-year-old girl whose favorite phrase is, “I love Jesus.”  She lives with her grandparents because her parents abandoned her.  Recently, Camila accepted Christ as her Savior after she watched the Jesus Film shown in her Nazarene church.  Now the Jesus Film is her favorite movie and she shares it with her friends and neighbors.  Many of them have also accepted Christ as a result.  Her grandparents testify:  “We give thanks to God for the testimony of Camila. Even though she is a young child, she is a great instrument in the hands of God.”  Amen.

A Decade of Blessings

The first church organized with the Jesus Film in Ecuador recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.  Pastor Rodrigo Olmedo continues to lead the San Francisco Church of the Nazarene.  The wonderful celebration included a great number of testimonies about transformed lives, healing of people who had no hope, new leaders, new daughter churches, and many more blessings.

Sometimes people say that it isn’t good to look behind at former things.  However, in this case, it is a different story.  After seeing the Jesus Film for the first time in this neighborhood, many people accepted Christ and put their faith in Him.  Now one can easily see how God has blessed this church over the years by His powerful hand.  After a few JF showings, and a few services held, a portable chapel was put on a newly purchased plot.  Later, a Work & Witness team from the Missouri District built a church.  Never did the church imagine that this would be the beginning of more than 50 churches that would be planted in Ecuador by means of the Jesus Film.  Glory to God!

How could God love a person such as I?

My name is Victor Angel.  I am 60 years old and this is my testimony.  As a young boy in school I was asked, “Who are your parents?”  I responded, “I don’t know who they are. I live with my grandma.”  Yet, in reality, my “grandma” was a lady who had adopted me when I had been abandoned.  When I was 10 years old, I met my real mother by coincidence.  I felt hatred and bitterness in my heart because I remembered every Christmas and every birthday, without a gift or a hug.

Eventually I married and had two children; however, we had many problems and fought almost every day.  One day I found my wife in bed with my cousin.  I lost control, grabbed a machete, and started hitting him until I killed him.  I fled the house with my small children and brought them to my aunt’s home.  I asked her to take care of them and ran away.

I arrived in the large coastal city of Guayaquil (Ecuador), without money, without a bed to sleep in, without anything.  As I was wandering the streets, a stranger offered me work—to rob cars, houses or whatever I could find.  By age 25 I was serving an 8-year prison sentence.  While in prison, I got addicted to drugs; however, I also learned the trade of carpentry.  Because of my job, I was able to leave prison four years early.

Once free, I arrived in Quito and began to traffic drugs from Colombia.  I earned a lot of money quickly, but I still felt empty.  Once again, I was caught and sentenced for a year in prison.  When I got out of prison, I began to live a life of hell.  I found myself looking for food in the garbage like an animal.  I had hit rock bottom.  Eventually, some people helped me get into a rehab center.  While I was there, they showed the Jesus Film.

As soon as I saw the film, I wanted a new life of forgiveness, healing, peace and joy.  This was the beginning of a radical change, a complete transformation in my life.  I couldn’t believe that a holy God could love me after all the things I had done.  Today, I have a family, food, a place to sleep, and love in my heart.  People in my home and in my church love me.  But more than that, I’m convinced that the King of Kings loves me most of all.  God is so good!