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By: Jonathan Baker on: October 22, 2013
Story Type: Story    

God-ordained encounters

 
One summer day in 2012, Francisco dropped by our church in Pachuca, Mexico. It was a weekday, and we were holding English classes for the community. Curious, Francisco had just stopped in to see what was going on. We spoke for some time. We exchanged numbers.

Shortly thereafter, I began an evangelistic Bible study with Francisco. It was evident that God was working in Francisco’s life. We discussed his questions. We prayed together. I gave it time. After a couple of months, Francisco placed his trust in Jesus Christ as his Savior.

We continued our weekly Bible study, and he became faithful in attending our church. What had begun as a casual drop-in so many months ago was proving to be a God-ordained opportunity. And Francisco was growing spiritually.

But after Christmas and the New Year, Francisco stopped coming to church. I tried to communicate with him, but got no answer.

Finally, I received an email from him telling me that he had moved to Puebla (almost a two-hour drive from Pachuca) to be with his mother and to look for a job. That was February, and it was the last time I heard from Francisco.

But God works in marvelous ways. At the same time, my wife and I felt that God was leading our family to find our next assignment. After much prayer and counsel, we felt God directing us to move to Puebla to join the Camino team there. It was a difficult decision, because we had been in Pachuca for the last 10 years. But when God says move, you obey!

Moving to Puebla was a big change for us. We had been deeply connected in Pachuca, so the transition was hard as my family adjusted to the larger city (about 4 million people), a new school for the kids, new people, and new ministries. Time passed and the transition wore on me, too. In Pachuca I had been deeply involved in ministry, but in Puebla I was still trying to find my niche. Discouragement began to set in. I wondered about Francisco. I prayed for him often. But how could I find him in this big city?

One Saturday evening, I needed to go to the store to buy some things very last-minute. As I was waiting my turn at the counter, I turned my head and there he was! Francisco walked by me, an employee of the store. I was in so much shock that I almost didn’t call out his name. Thankfully, I did.

“Francisco!”

He turned toward me, and his jaw almost hit the floor. He came up to me, and we greeted each other with the traditional Mexican hug. We almost didn’t know what to say. We talked and gave each other quick updates and exchanged phone numbers once again. Francisco admitted that he hadn’t been going to church much lately, and was hungry to start a Bible study again.

It was fresh air for my soul. God’s timing was perfect — for both Francisco and for me.

As of today, Francisco and I have been meeting weekly for a discipleship Bible study and prayer. His desire to know God and his Word has been rekindled.

I am thankful for God’s perfect provision. God used that divine encounter to encourage me and to let me know that he was (and is) in control.

Jonathan Baker and his family serve with Camino in Puebla, Mexico. Find out more about the Bakers here.

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