Monday, November 13, 2006
God's Man for Chajuraña
Let me introduce you to Victor Hernandez. He is a very dear friend of mine and a man I admire very much. He is the pastor of the Good Hope Baptist Church in Chajuraña. He was there in the village praying that God would send a missionary before he ever met us. He received Christ as a child when the missionaries Cedric and Florence Eddings were in the village back in the 70's. When he became an adult there was no pastor to lead the few christians who remained faithful in the village, so he stepped up and filled the gap. His world view is very limited. He doesn't understand politics or international problems, but he does know his New Testament. He has never studied in a Bible College, there isn't one in his language.
I spent many evenings over the past 10 years one on one with this man and we both learned many things. Prov. 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
He put the Bible into practice in many ways that I never had to. One example was when he was teaching that we need to put God first in our lives. Many times the christians would face a situation where they had no food in the house and they would need to go hunting to get meat. This meant that many times on Sunday morning for service we would have few men as they had not been able to return from the hunt. Unsaved family members would encourage them to go out Saturday night,it didn't matter to them if they didn't get back before the church service.
One weekend he told God that they didn't have any meat for Sunday for his family, but he decided he would wait to hunt on Sunday afternoon so he wouldn't miss church. (Now you might be thinking!!!! HE is the pastor! How can he even be tempted in this area! The answer is he had six kids and he helped feed his widowed sisters family of 5 on top of that. He had no income except what they grew and hunted. Some of the christians were going out to hunt and Victor knew they wouldn't get back in time for church. He decided to trust God to provide for his family and serve God first in the church that morning.
Right after service he came to me and asked me to preach in the evening service. He would do his best to get back in time, but he didn't own a watch and the canoe didn't have an odometer to tell him how far from the village he was to make sure he got back in time.
I saw him walk off to the river with his shotgun and his two sons. We were in the kitchen still making our traditional Sunday dinner of home made pizza about 15 minutes later when I heard the shotgun blast. 15 minutes later he comes walking up the hill and got his machete. I went out and asked why he hadn't already left and he said, "I just got back. A deer swam right in front of my canoe. God gave us meat for lunch."
He saw God work in his life, He knew God cared for him, He knows God will never forget him. Do we with all of our things ever get the chance to see God work in such real and present way in our lives? Who is really missing out?