On the mission-field the Lord often opens doors that you never expected. This month, a visitor came to our Wednesday Bible Study on Exodus this month whom no one had ever seen before. He showed up towards the end of the study and sat patiently for an opportunity to speak to me. When I got the chance to talk to him, he told me that he once spoke to the previous pastor but couldn’t remember his name (it must have been Pastor Schueller). He lives in a home for the elderly nearby, and hasn’t been able to come and visit us for some time because he has been sick, but that he wanted to come and ask us to come and share with the people who lived in his facility where he is a resident. “No one visits us, and people are in need of some hope, everyone is all alone and there are no activities,” he said.
I told him that we would like to come and visit him, but that perhaps it would be best if we made a personal visit first and then from there, we could speak to the administration at the center and make more plans.
When it came time for the agreed upon visit, Christel and I brought a devotional book and went to the building to try to find this man’s room. We were in for a surprise! He was waiting for us at the entrance and ushered us in, right into a large room. “I started the air conditioner already so that it would cool down for when the people come,” he said. “Oh, which people are we expecting?” I asked. “For the activity,” he said, and walked me over to the sign that had been taped to the wall. “Thursday at 10 AM, the Pastor from Fuente de Vida Lutheran Church will be visiting!” Oh, I thought, well that is going to be interesting! Christel rushed back to the church to get some bibles, devotion books, and visual faith materials, and before long we found ourselves leading an activity with several of the residents. The event was extremely well received even if we were not at all prepared, and the residents told us that they wished we could come on a regular basis. Many have not had an opportunity to be involved in any church or hear the word for a very long time.
Afterwards we went and spoke with the administration and were given complete permission to begin ministry in the facility, visiting residents, and putting on a weekly bible study and set of activities. We will begin the new project as soon as we return from the missionary conference at the beginning of August! The real surprise? The facility is directly behind the property we are in negotiations to purchase for our church and mercy center in Ponce! God works in mysterious ways!