The rest of the story…

You may not remember by now, but about a year ago I wrote about a man named Pedro who came to church. At the time, we were taking care of a ministry in the north of Portugal for a missionary who was home in the States on furlough. Here’s what I wrote,

About three months ago while I was teaching Sunday school, a man named Pedro stumbled (literally) into church. It was obvious to everyone that he was either drunk or severely hungover. Amazingly, he has returned to church almost every single Sunday since then, usually in various states of intoxication. Sometimes he can be a little disruptive, but overall the people of the church have shown him much kindness and patience. It’s hard to know how much he is taking in, but God’s Word is powerful enough to conquer the hardest hearts.

In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul writes, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? …Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Then he says, “Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.” God’s grace is amazing!
If you could remember to pray for this man, it would really mean a lot to us. He is very sad and needy, but just as God saved people in Corinth, he can save people like Pedro right here in Portugal.

That was written almost a year ago. Then in September, the missionary responsible for the work there, David Loop, called me and said, “I have some sad news. Recently, Pedro passed away.”

Immediately I had a heavy heart. I hoped that during some lucid moment Pedro might have called on Jesus to save him, but I have no evidence of that being the case. Only eternity will tell.

Bro. Loop then continued on and said, “I heard about this news from Pedro’s mother. She wants me to come and visit her. Please pray that God would guide our conversation.”

That morning I prayed that God would work through this sad moment. Later, Bro. Loop called me back and said, “Pedro’s mom is very broken up about her son’s death, but she wants to come to church on Sunday. She said that Pedro spoke very highly of the church and how he enjoyed going there. She remarked about how kind the people were to Pedro and how this was unlike how any other church had treated him.”

And so this elderly, Catholic lady, named Jacqueline, began to attend this little Baptist church. As the months went by, the wonderful truth of the gospel began to penetrate this broken heart.

Last week, I received another phone call from Bro. Loop. “David, I have good news. Today, I went over to Jacqueline’s house. After talking with her and answering her questions, she prayed and made a profession of faith in Christ.”

What joy! I have never met this lady, but I can’t help but be amazed at how God works. When Pedro first walked into church, I cringed thinking that he would disrupt and disturb what was going on. Yet in the end, God used him to enable his mother to hear the gospel and be saved. This reminded again to value every single person God places in my life. I do not know his plans or the way he will use a certain relationship.

To those of you who prayed for Pedro, thank you. You never know how God will answer your prayer.

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