Heart-Tugging Stories of Multi-Generational Discipleship – #1

photoNot too long ago, on one of our normal mission outreach days, I returned with my spiritual pride gutted. What we get to do here is exciting, costly, and humbling. To be honest, I have to constantly ask God if He’s using me in spite of myself. That thought is nearly too much to bear. I’m thankful for the history of those who loved God, who were greatly used by God and at times driven to the ground by their own weaknesses. Yet, God is always there saying, “I called you; I will be with you! I will take away the evil of your heart! I will accomplish my will, regardless!”

On that day, we left our immediate local context and headed out for some distant small towns and villages. As is our custom, we pick up new disciples  along the way to teach and demonstrate the making of disciples in settings very similar to their own. We stopped in a small neighborhood called “Guadalupe,” and picked up several adults and one child. The child’s name was “Lydia,” and she’s a 3rd generation disciple of Jesus birthed by the work of indigenous missionaries in the region. When we met Lydia she was 9 years old. At the time, she had been new to the area, having been recently removed from her mother to live with her birth father and his family.

Lydia was, in every way, a modern-day slave, held ‘captive’ by her birth mother, not educated, and forced to work under harsh conditions. Her father, a second generation disciple of Jesus received the message of the gospel with joy and eagerly spread that same message throughout his family and neighborhood. Lydia was one of the first to embrace the love and liberty of Christ. At the time, Lydia was illiterate, but watching her transformation via the power of the gospel and the confirmation of the lives lived in proximity to Jesus was astonishing. The social challenges of her former seclusion were quickly overcome by being on mission with us and ministering to others. She started attending school locally and began to flourish.

On this day, after we picked up Lydia, soon to be 13, and a few others, I was heading out to some more remote areas and dropped her and her father off in a tiny neighborhood along the way. After spending a few hours preaching the gospel there, we started heading back. We saw through a windowless house that Lydia and her father were inside with a number of other people. We got out of the van and approached the house only to see Lydia, sitting on a hammock, reading from the Bible and talking a bit about what she had just read. I watched and listened in amazement.

After she was done, some others shared and spoke of the things of God. Lydia saw me peeking through the frameless window, smiled, and ran out to me. She grabbed my hand, and excitedly brought me into the house. She said, “Brother Miguel, I want to introduce you to my mother.”  Let that sink in for a moment…

I was floored! Lydia was making a disciple of her Mom. On that day, the gospel was portrayed not only in words, but by her actions of forgiveness and mercy towards a woman, who had before, only caused her pain.

0 thoughts on “Heart-Tugging Stories of Multi-Generational Discipleship – #1

  1. Andy says:

    Amen brother.. It is so inspiring to hear the good news…the good news of Gods word going out by the ones it was intended to reach for the reason it was interned to reach them…grateful for your service and willingness to share both inside and outside of your circle of friends. I am sure your experiences also go the other direction, but those are the battles that bring the greater victory. Bless you brother and all you touch with the light you were given.

  2. Clarke says:

    This is the kind of beauty that unsettles us. Stories like this do not fit the economies of the world…

    Mercy does that. I am convinced that there is nothing in the world as powerful as mercy. Mercy breaks the curse. It is a claim of human dignity, that the person is more valuable that the offense. The world preaches, “You are what you do!”, “You get out, what you put in!” Mercy proclaims, “Despite of what you do, despite of your failures, despite of yourself, you are valued beyond measure!”

    When we find our wholeness in Christ, a presence that fills the brokenness of our self-image, self-confidence, and self-worth, we are given eyes to see beyond the brokenness of others. As we are sent out as agents of reconciliation, our own healing is the witness of the resurrection, our own mercy is the witness of a Savior, our own gospel proclamation is the witness of the Spirit who causes blind eyes to see, deaf ears to hear, enemies to become friends, and oppressors to become advocates…

    Blessed are the merciful.

    Blessed are you Lydia.

  3. Steve Hill says:

    Wonderful, wonderful story!

  4. Pamela says:

    Having been to Gaudalupe and met Lydia, I can picture all of this, and it strengthens my faith. THIS is what the transforming work of Christ is to do – transform us, and transform others by enabling to love those who have hurt us. Praise be to God!

  5. Vita says:

    I really believe it is God’s will to use the young the same as he would use someone more seasoned in age. If our faith is to truly be like that of a little child, it is not surprising (though it is amazing and pretty cool) that he would use a young girl.

    Children can be so pure. The gospel is so very simple. If we reach the youth, the families will see the change and come to know Christ just like this woman. We consider children to be “the last” when it comes to our family hierarchies, but if God decides to flip it, we could experience the greatest evangelistic movement of all time, through the simple faith of children.

  6. Carol Stoner says:

    Wow. WOW. Thanks for sharing this story. I know/hope both you and Claudia remember this encouragement on days when those negative voices (we all hear once in awhile, sometimes within our own head) are piping up!

  7. Michelle says:

    What an encouraging story, that young lady will do amazing things for the kingdom!
    We could all do well to make note of her pure attitude of total forgiveness,,,a true mirror of Christ

  8. Jonathan says:

    This is an encouragement. Using flawed lives to change lives. Awesome!

  9. guy muse says:

    Love these kinds of stories. Thanks for sharing and thanks for being faithful servants where the Lord has placed you.

  10. Wendy McCaig says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with me. For the past ten years I have worked almost exclusively with adults but I am about to enter into a season engaging young people in community development. I do believe God is sending me to them so I can see this community through their eyes. I am anxious to learn what God will teach me through them.

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