We are rejoicing with heaven to receive another daughter into the family of God.
We have long prayed for and worked with Esmeralda. You all have joined us in these prayers. God heard all along and was working in her heart.
Steph and Belinda have been doing weekly Bible studies with Esmeralda lately, and at the last study, Esmeralda said she thinks she is ready for baptism and to be part of the church. I went along to the study yesterday to answer some of her questions. I had wondered what she was thinking because just last week, Rafael and Elisabet had asked me about baptism and what it means; they thought it was the ticket to get into heaven.
We started with prayer, then I asked Esmeralda what salvation means to her, what she understands of it. She said, “If I confess that Jesus is the Son of God and gave His life for my sins and accept Him as my Savior and Lord, I will be forgiven, right?” That was certainly textbook correct!
I told her she was exactly right, and I wanted to go over two points especially in her statement. What does it mean for Jesus to be one’s Savior? And what does it mean for Him to be one’s Lord? We read a number of scriptures together, but she understood. She was ready to have Jesus be King of her life.
I talked to her then about counting the cost. What would it cost to accept Jesus as the Master of her life? She would have to give up some things. She said right away, “I will have to give up Fernando and my family. I am ready to do that. I want to follow Jesus. When can I do it?”
I said we can do it right then. Fernando was in the room directly over the kitchen where we were meeting, watching a loud television program, some daytime soap opera sort of thing. Suddenly, I heard the show shut off and go to commercial, which was immediatly followed by a musical piece. Very sweetly and softly was playing, “I’m standing on the promises of God.“
I asked Esmeralda if she heard it or recognized it. She said she could easily hear it but didn’t know the song. I translated the chorus for her and a few more words of the song. I told her, “Esmeralda, God has given us a sign. He is here, ready and waiting to receive you. You can come to Him now and find rest.”
“How strange!” she said. “Why is this song playing on Fernando’s show? And he doesn’t even know? But I know it is God. He has been speaking to me louder and louder in dreams. The people in my dreams have been saying, ‘Pray, Esmeralda! Pray!’ I know it is time for me to leave this life and follow Jesus. Help me. I want you to be my guide.”
So, while Steph stood and held Esmeralda, who began to pray and weep softly, and while Belinda sat at her side, praying, I led Esmeralda through talking to our Father. She prayed earnestly, confessing all the sins she could think of. We had talked about being thorough and open with confession. We had also talked about the Christian’s requirement to make restitution as Zachaeus did. Esmeralda prayed, “Dear God, dear Father, there are so many people I need to go to and make right with! Please help me poco a poco to make restitucion for all the years of sin I have against you, against others, and against my own self.”
After the prayer, I asked her how she felt or what she was thinking. I had on my mind that she may feel trepidation about talking with Fernando now, but her response blessed me. “I have a peace in my heart,” she said. “I feel… I feel something new in here.” She held her hand to her heart and smiled with true joy. She had found her Lord and God, and He was faithful and just to forgive her and cleanse her of every sin.
Oh, how the angels were rejoicing! “Standing on the promises I now can see perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me; standing in the liberty where Christ makes free, standing on the promises of God.”
Esmeralda said, “I am ready to be valiente (valiant) and to stand for Jesus, but I think I should pray and read my Bible tonight before talking with Fernando about separating. He will be angry, and he will fight to keep the children and everything, but I am ready to follow Jesus. Will you be with me tomorrow when I talk to him?” I assured her that we would. “I want him to hear about salvation,” she said. “I want you tell him that he’s lost in sin, in his adultery. He doesn’t know he isn’t ready to meet God.”
How beautiful the heart that has forgiven and been forgiven! She was already showing the love of Christ to the man she has endured such pain and abuse from. She still cares for him, but now her care is eternal.
Pray for Esmeralda. The enemy is not happy to lose another citizen of the kingdom of darkness; he does not easily give up those he’s enslaved. Pray for her also to have courage and peace as she makes restitution with Fernando and begins a very difficult chapter of life, perhaps. Fernando has his wife still in another country, so Esmeralda has no claim on him as a husband, but the separation will be complicated by the children involved. I think Maria Gracia is ten.
Pray for us. Caleb’s are preparing a room for Esmeralda to stay in for now; we’re grateful they’re willing to open their home. We have lots of details to work through over the next while, the first of which is that I need to talk to Fernando about his state with God, if he will listen. Will he choose to count us as enemies for ruining his home life, as it were? We don’t know.
But, we choose to place our faith in the same God who called and saved us and makes us able and abundant to do every good work. “Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God.“
Todas las promesas del Señor Jesús,
son apoyo poderoso de mi fe;
mientras viva aquí cercado de su luz,
siempre en sus promesas confiaré.
Todas las promesas del Señor serán
gozo y fuerza en nuestra vida terrenal;
ellas en la dura lid nos sostendrán,
y triunfar podremos sobre el mal.
Todas sus promesas me ayudarán
a vencer las tentaciones de Satán;
puedo yo confiar en que mi Salvaador
con su dulce voz me guiara.
Todas sus promesas para el pueblo fiel,
el Señor en sus bandades cumplirá,
y confiado sé que para siempre en él
pas eterna mi alma gozará.
Grandes, fieles,Russel Kelso Carter
las promesas que el Señor Jesús ha dado,
en ellas para siempre confiaré.