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A Beautiful Evening at One Migrant Camp

I just had the privilege of sharing a marvelous evening with other volunteers at one of the migrant camps that Stop Hunger and Poverty ministers to.

As our caravan of cars pulled into the dusty camp, sporting its group of dilapidated trailers, a troop of beautiful children came running out to meet us, sporting wonderful smiles.  "Where's the clown? (payaso in Spanish)" one of them asked.  I told them the clown was among us and would be ready soon.  The children wanted to know what my name was, and I theirs.  Among some others with more typical Spanish names, one six-year-old boy, Charlie, said he had two brothers and a sister, and that their family was going back to Mexico for Christmas.

I greeted some of the other volunteers - Ramon, an evangelist;  Julie, who partners in ministry with him to the camps; Harry, a long-time SHPN volunteer who has a strong intercessory prayer ministry.  Two of the women volunteers began to organize the children and soon they were singing some beautiful spanish worship songs, such as "Tengo un amigo que me ama" (I have a Friend who loves me) with one of the musicians, Melchor, accompanying on an acoustic guitar. 

Noticing some of the adult men off by the trailers, I approached a group of them and asked one his name, introducing myself - "Como se llama?"  He answered, "Pedro".  I then pulled out a pocket Spanish New Testament and asked if he could read in Spanish, since many of the migrant workers cannot.  He said he could, and I gently walked with him through a group of verses in the back of the small Testament that shared about how God loves us and sent His Son Jesus that those who believe on Him could have eternal life.  We read about how all people have sinned, everyone, and that the penalty of that is death - spiritual, eternal death.  Then came the verses about how God made provision for that problem - not demanding our own perfection, but by giving His perfect Son as the payment for our sin on the Cross.  We need only reach out and invite Jesus into our hearts.  Together, we prayed a prayer asking Jesus to forgive our sin, and Pedro invited Jesus into his heart.  I gave him the New Testament and encouraged him to read a little every day - stating it was "comido para corazon" (food for the heart).

By this time, food was being distributed to every trailer - a frozen chicken, bags of beans and rice, and cooking oil.  Clothing would come later.  I shared with some additional men, as did Ramon, and altogether six men received the Lord into their hearts. 

Ramon asked me to join him to share with one young woman who said her father was a minister, still in Mexico.  After we shared the gospel with her, she stated she "didn't know" if she wanted to receive Jesus.  I showed her an index in the front of the Spanish testament that could point her to verses for when one is anxious, depressed, going through difficulties, etc - and gave her the Testament as she began to show interest.  After encouraging her again that there could be no downside and only a wonderful upside to accepting Jesus into her heart, and that we aren't asked to be perfect, only to freely reach out and receive the gift, I left her in God's hands.