The beginning of 2021 looks much different than in previous years. However, we are blessed to continue finding ways to serve God in the communities to bring light and hope. Today’s story comes from Gerber Lopez, our Microfinance Site leader in Guatemala.
Often our work with Students International is about building and developing relationships over time. In the Microfinance site, we spend time walking through our communities, visiting former and current loan holders, and building relationships. One such day, two years ago, I (Gerber) was walking with a group of students when we noticed many people gathered together at a house. I saw someone I knew there, so I asked what had happened. There had been a death in the family, and they were in the middle of a day-long “viewing.” They were honoring the family of the one who had passed.
That was the first time I had a chance to meet Maria Josephina Lobo. They were gathering at her house after her husband had passed away. As is customary in Guatemala, they invited all of us in (students included), and we shared a time of fellowship over coffee and bread. I felt the nudge of the Lord and asked this woman if I could share a word about Jesus Christ, and Maria said yes. I grabbed my Bible and preached a short message on the hope of life we have in God, and about the new life in Christ, and His love for us. They listened to me intently, and although they were not believers, they asked me to pray for them. It was an extraordinary experience, and it laid the groundwork for a continued relationship with Maria.
We continued to visit with her over the past two years, and this past December, she decided to join one of our microfinance groups, where we can help her grow in her business. She sells avocados, and with our loan, she can purchase a larger quantity of avocados to resell in the next town over. More than growing her business, Maria is now part of the bible study inside the loan group. She will continue to hear the name of Jesus being preached. Will you join me in praying that Maria accepts Jesus as her Lord and Savior?