Friday, March 15, 2013

God's Word Changes Lives!

Dear Faithful Friends and Supporters,

I was drawn to the book of Hebrews 4:12 where it says, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." And then over in the book of Isaiah 55:11 we read "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."

Those two verses of scripture are such an encouragement to us and we hope to each of you this month. God is at work and His word is changing lives. Perhaps you recall last September we visited Santa Cruz, Bolivia for a missionary retreat with our WGM Missionaries. One of the days I was privileged to go out on the streets with our mission director, Rick Lampen who is a nurse practioner and is involved in a ministry to streets kids. These kids live on the streets, sleep under bridges, culverts or any place they can find shelter and in the day time they come out and wash car windows as the cars stop at street lights. They eek out a living each day and face many challenges as they battle drugs, alcohol and the complexities of street life. Missionaries like Rick, work with these kids to treat their emergent medical needs, pray and counsel with them to get them off the streets, and introduce them to faith in Christ.

I was deeply moved by a young man named Luis that I met on the streets that day. I know some of you have prayed for him and I have some real answers to prayer to share with you. (If you scroll back on this blog you can read about Luis.)

Luis is 22 years old. Over a year ago, he was struck by a car while washing windows, crushing his left arm and left leg. He went to the social hospital and had surgery to repair broken bones, but it left him on a crutch with pins in his knee and severly crippled arm and leg.

That day, Rick attended to his wounds while another missionary prayed with him. I gave him a spanish New Testament and tract to help introduce him to Jesus. He was interested in what we had to say and appreciated the help he was receiving.
During the month of February Marlene and I returned to Santa Cruz to make another pastoral visit and minister there. I had really wanted to find Luis again and follow up with him to see how he was doing. We were unable to make any connection during that visit but Rick said he would continue to look for him. Meanwhile many people continued to pray for him. Just the other day Rick ran into Luis on the street and he could not believe the change he saw in him. He asked Luis if he remembered Ned and he said he did. He also said to specifically thank me for the Bible that I gave him and he said that he read part of it, and then gave it to a friend that was discouraged since it had encouraged his heart. God's Word is powerful and it began to change Luis's heart and life. We know that God is really working on his heart and changing him, so please keep praying for him.

Here are some excerpts from an email I received from Rick. It will bless your heart as you read of God's faithfullness in answer to prayer.  
There were two MD's who approached Luis last year and wanted to help him with a free surgery.  At that time, he was hooked on crack cocaine and a life of begging as he walked with his crutch from car to car.  He and I (Rick) went out for a lunch and I was able to have a good talk with him.  He wanted to do the surgery but was scared. He had my cell phone number and was to call me before going in, but his wallet was stolen and lost my number.  I had been looking for him since November but never saw him on the streets any longer so I assumed he left the city and lived someplace else.  Anyway—yesterday the team went out and when we stopped by the corner where he always worked, I saw a young man walking towards me that I didn’t recognize.  It was Luis!  He had gone through with the surgery and was walking to see us without crutches!  He looked amazing!  He’s put on some weight and looked so good!  He walks with a limp and has a brace on his hand, but is regaining strength and is in PT.  He recognizes that all of this is from the Lord and gives thanks to Him!  He wants to thank everyone who has been praying for him and is so encouraged to live and make something of his life now.  He has a smile on his face and still cleans care windows during the mornings to pay for PT but has moved back home with his mom so he’s not sleeping on the streets at night.  We were able to pray with him and thank the Lord for Luis’s life and all that He has done!  Luis has my number and he may go to church with Lori and me Sunday night and he and I will be going out for a lunch sometimes soon.  He says he feels the Lord has something special for him.  That was encouraging and for His to give God the glory for the change in his life is awesome!  Thanks for praying for him!  It’s not the end of the story with him---keep praying with us that the there would now be heart changes as we continue ministering with Luis! Below is a picture of Rick and Luis.

Thank you so much for standing with us in this vital ministry to missionaries. It is a joy for us to serve as pastors to people that are changing this world for Christ.

Ned and Marlene McGrady
World Gospel Mission
Box 948
Marion, IN 46952

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