One morning, as I entered the Village, I realised I hadn’t met anyone from Lebanon. I prayed a quick prayer, “Lord please lead me to the Lebanese team.” Then in the day’s busyness I forgot about it. Later having lunch I decided to fly the desert, which I normally didn’t do. I then sat in a different place to enjoy the desert. I noticed an attractive middle-aged lady sitting about three tables away. She smiled. picked up her food and came and sat at my table. I thought, “Dear Lord, I hope this is not a ‘pick up’. I can do without this.” She had seen my minister’s collar and said, “Father, can I share a need with you? I am Catholic, and I’ve been hurt by leaders and people (sounds familiar doesn’t it?); my faith has been destroyed..” Her name was Nadia. I asked her where she came from. She replied – Lebanon. I then gave her a little lesson on faith. God’s word says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for…” I said I prayed that morning hoping that God would link me with someone from Lebanon. I said to Nadia, “You are the substance of my faith.” She was amazed, realising that her faith had been misplaced and should have been in God. She came to Jesus very easily. Later that day I went to the medical centre where she was an Arabic interpreter and met the manager and a few athletes of the Lebanese team (all Moslems). I had a delightful time sharing with them. They asked me to meet their families and eat with them when I’m in Lebanon next month.
At the same time at the medical centre, amongst others, I met Hilda, the Spanish interpreter, who introduced me to the Colombian Team (all Catholics, again). And so I met Moises (Moses) Fuentes, a swimmer, crippled from the waist down. She told me he’d been praying to Jesus for a new wheelchair. He was so poor he’d made his own chair, welded together from plumbing piping. God began to “speak” to my heart about providing him with a new wheelchair. I checked with the wheelchair suppliers in the Village; the prices varied between $3,500 to $800. I asked Moises to come and try them out. He found a chair that suited him – at $2,800. God “said” to my heart, “Buy it for him. He’s my chosen servant.” The salesman came over and warned me, “Don’t be conned by these folk. They know how make people feel sorry for them. I’ve seen good people like you hurt.” Hilda heard this and burst into tears. She said, ” These boys are not like this. They’re not conning you.” I replied, “Don’t worry, God spoke to me first before the salesman did. Don’t tell Moises I’m getting the chair for him; just say a benefactor has offered to do this.” (With due respect to the salesman, he repented and got the price reduced to $1,500. Bless him).
I visited Moises and the team a day later. They were still rejoicing in God’s provision for Moises. I brought them Spanish Bibles and Joni Eareckson’s video. The entire team gave their hearts to Jesus. You should have seen the Lord shining through their faces. With one voice they said that when they arrived back in Bogotar they were going on national TV and would tell the nation they had received Jesus and what God had done for Moises.
I’ve kept in touch with Moises (3rd from left in the photo) since and received this email from him, “Hello, my dear friend. On my part I tell you I am very happy because I am now back in my country, using the wheelchair, meaning I have new legs. I have always been thinking of you. You know I do believe in God and I beg of Him, the greatest King, that He would help me to follow all the principles of scripture faithfully. Thank you so much for everything. A hug. Ciao.”
That says it all. Praise God.