Morristown Church of Christ’s connection to Guatemala started more than ten years ago when an illegal Guatemalan immigrant by the name of Darvin came to this area to find work. He happened to cross paths with one of our church members who initiated conversations with Darvin about his faith and relationship to the Lord. Because of the seeds planted through that relationship, Darvin would eventually put on Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in baptism. Darvin returned to Guatemala as a new man with a new mission. He entered school in Panama to be trained to become a minister. While in Panama, he provided his home in Guatemala as a space for Christians to worship regularly in his hometown. Today Darvin continues to build up churches in Guatemala while also serving as an instructor at the Theological Institute of Latin America. Many people are now followers of Jesus because of Darvin. Praise God! I’m unhappy to say that I have not yet met Darvin. I’m very happy to say that he is my brother and friend.
In his presentation last night, Tom challenged our church to re-orient ourselves to think beyond ourselves. Specifically as Christians, we are to think outwardly and become “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Most Christians know that Jesus commanded his disciples to “go into all the world” (Mark 16:15). Going into all of the world includes going into all of the local community. Our community is quite diverse. Our church is not nearly as diverse. A predominantly white church in a diverse area serves neither the Lord’s kingdom nor the local community well. If Jesus expected his followers two thousand years ago to break down the barriers between Jews, Gentiles & Samaritans, surely we by faith can break down the racial, ethnic & linguistic barriers that exist in our communities today.
Had one of our church members not reached out to an illegal immigrant those many years ago, the world today would be a bit darker than it is and some people would not know Jesus the way that they do now. Regardless of one’s skin color, primary language, immigration status, sexual orientation, addiction, criminal record, or any other consideration . . . when a person made in the image of God encounters a follower of His Son, they should be met the way Jesus would meet them. Jesus welcomed all people with a message of redemption. The world has never been the same since. It is the good news, and it ultimately blesses those who receive it. But it can only bless them today through those who share it. God is to be praised for those who have reached out to Darvin and others like him. God is to be praised for those who have come to Jesus because of Darvin and others like him. You can be blessed and be a blessing today by sharing Jesus with all wherever you go.