For those of you who are sharing this journey with me, “Thank you”! When I first came to El Salvador, there was excitement; I was too naive to know about all the dangers to be fearful. Tragedy was always “on the other side of the city or the country” areas that I was not familiar with. I had no idea where that pain, betrayal or death had occurred, but the longer I lived in El Salvador, those tragedies became closer to me because they occurred to friends that I knew, other believers, or closer to where I lived. It meant that I had to learn to keep my guard up as to my surroundings, who I trusted, who I let into my home or who I let into my confidence.
At times it is a blur, trying to recall the first person that “I knew” whose life was taken. But I recall clearly the feeling I had when I found out about a taxi-driver who was murdered, who I will call, “Chico” to protect his family’s identity. Since I needed to be on my guard and could not fully trust taxi-drivers, I had to “trust” that “Chico” would take me where I needed to go because the other taxi-drivers were afraid to drive me to areas that he would take me to for ministry. Although he had heard the Gospel of Salvation, about how Christ willingly laid down His life to save us from our sins and restore our relationship to the Father, he was not “sure” if it was for him and had quit going to church. Based on what one could observe, there was no evidence that he was a true believer. So when I was informed of “Chico’s” horrific death, I was sick. Sick to my stomach and sick in my heart, not knowing where he would spend eternity. Then I thought, who will provide for his wife and children? I thought, would his life had been different if he had received Christ and been a true disciple of Christ? Would he still be here today? Only God can answer those questions, but it is a stark reminder of the calling to share the Gospel with all.
As a missionary, sometimes it is easy to second guess ourselves and wonder if we are doing everything within our power to tell others about the saving power of Christ Jesus. I live in a country and culture where I can’t always wait to develop a relationship before sharing the Good News of Salvation, because today may be the only day that I have to share the news with someone, for tomorrow they may pass into eternity and have never heard God’s plan of salvation. God’s reminder to me lest I forget why He called me to El Salvador, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believes”. Romans 1:16.
And the journey continues…