One Step Further

Last night after prayer meeting, China told our group, “Maybe we should start thanking God for hearing our prayers and answering them. We know He is even if we don’t know what He’s done.” So, we thanked God in faith, knowing that you all were praying and moving heaven with us.

This morning in my personal time with God, I felt clearly impressed that God had answered our prayers to make a way for Esmeralda and that we could break our fast. Today is my turn to make supper (I often make Thursday’s supper.), so I told the others that I was planning to break my fast tonight at supper because I felt that we had received our answer. China was also impressed the same way, so she went to town and bought plums and churos to celebrate at supper.

I messaged Esmeralda this afternoon to talk about plans for traveling to Puno tomorrow, but she didn’t answer for a couple of hours. My faith was wavering, but I went to God and talked to Him and felt sure that He had already worked. A bit later, Esmeralda messaged and said she was on the way to our house!

When she arrived, she told us that she had told Fernando today that she was leaving, and she was taking Maria Gracia with her. They then decided to go into town to the government offices in charge of these things because Fernando said she could not take Maria Gracia. They met with the officers, and they right away said that the law clearly states that minors go with the mother. Fernando was furious and immediately started calling his old police buddies—he used to work in the police force—Esmeralda told us she wasn’t worried about it because God is able to deal with Fernando.

Esmeralda’s absolute and unwavering faith that God will keep His promises is incredible. She has put her hand to the plow, and she is not looking back. Lord, increase our faith to match that of our dear sister!

Steph and I plan to go in with Esmeralda tomorrow to sign the document that says she is leaving Fernando’s house and is taking nothing with her. The police will then accompany her to the house to take a photo of her leaving to document it. Then we should be ready to head to Puno.

Esmeralda said she hardly knew what to think to receive dozens and dozens of messages from Christians all over the world. She said she feels so special, and it was the encouragement she needed to be courageous to take the steps she did today. She said Fernando was terrible, but she wasn’t afraid.

She was able to try on a dress while she was here, and Steph’s larger dresses fit her perfectly. So, Steph will be readying some for her to take to Puno. We dicussed the veil, and she decided she wants to wear something to go back to Fernando’s so that she can have the power of the angels with her. Such simple faith and obedience.

The battle is raging hard, but she is fighting valiantly. God bless you for fighting with her. If you would like to send more encouragement tonight or tomorrow, please do. She needs to be lifted up as she steps forward. Like we were saying in prayer meeting last night, she is in enemy territory yet; she is in the lion’s den.

Some of you have asked why she is going back at all. Fernando is demanding that she pay money for their older children’s needs. Fernando doesn’t work; hasn’t in years. All the money comes from Esmeralda’s working the farm, but now she will be gone, so he has no income and a lot of farm work that won’t get done on its own. Esmeralda wants to go ahead and meet his demands to cover the schooling needs of their oldest daughter. This will cost Esmeralda as much as S/1,000 (up to $300) per month. We don’t know where this will come from, but we have committed as a church to help her meet that demand if God chooses to allow it to stand.

Pray that God would protect her and Maria Gracia tonight. Pray that God would confound the plans Fernando is conspiring against her. Pray that the others of the family would be confused and held off from trying to attack her more. Pray that God would go before us and guide in the documentation process tomorrow. And pray that God would go before us to open the way for us to travel to Puno.

God is so good. Spend some time praising Him for working so mightily on our behalf.

Leonela sharing her testimony
Trying on a temporary veil