From the Rock Pile
Stories of Impact
PTR Brazil: Salvation Story
This is just one more story of a child that Jesus saved after he was abandoned by his parents and herded to a shelter by the justice system.
Below is a brief testimony about “Samuel”:
“Samuel is the oldest of five siblings, each one form a different father. The siblings are age 9, 6, 4, and 2. His mother was arrested on trafficking charges; he was placed with his father, and his siblings were placed in a shelter. The mother was released, and the father left Samuel with her saying he’d be right back, but he never did.
We got her a job, got full-time school for all siblings and placed them back with her to see if she would be able to care for them. But a short time later – about 6 months – she wasn’t sending the kids to school; she’d spend the day on the street, leaving the little ones under Samuel’s care – the baby had a terrible diaper rash, they lived in the midst of filth and squalor. Samuel was already being approached by drug dealers to start a life of crime.
We took all of them away and started placing them with adoptive families. Three have already been adopted. Samuel and his 9 year-old brother haven’t, because they’re past optimal adoption age.
Now it would take a miracle for Samuel and his brother not to spend their whole adolescence in a shelter. By law, at age 18 they’ll have to leave the shelter. Many go back home since they have nowhere else to go.”
Samuel has attended our sports program at PTR Brazil every Friday morning for 6 months – a Christian environment where, far beyond the sports, we preach the saving gospel of Jesus to all the students.
On October 11th, Samuel was invited to attend a retreat with the teens from one of our partner churches. Besides the fun and games, Samuel was challenged to give his life to Christ and to follow Him.
When I (Daniel) was taking Samuel back to the shelter, while we were still in the car, I asked,
“Do you know that God wants to adopt you as His son?”
His eyes filled with tears and he answered in a trembling voice, “YES, I BELIEVE.” So, in that special moment, I had the opportunity to explain God’s salvation plan and to tell him that those who receive Jesus and believe in His name can be called children of God (John 1:12).
And also, as is written in Ephesians 1:5-6, He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.
Samuel gave his life to Jesus on October 13, 2018, and now, like us, he has a heavenly Father that loves him and has a wonderful plan for his life.
In addition to meeting with us every Friday, Samuel participates in a discipleship program called Bible Club (provided by our partner church) which uses music, Bible studies, small groups, and snacks and fellowship to help local teenagers to learn more about the Lord and His Word.
PTR Mexico: Team Revival
I entered the auditorium to set up my computer for the PowerPoint. Fifty-three loud and rowdy high school football players walked into the room to listen, take notes and pay attention to what I would share.
I was introduced by the head coach, who also happens to be one of my best friends. I started off by sharing who I am and why I live here in Guadalajara: to teach the Bible and share about Jesus through sports. I got mostly looks of interest but a couple boys looked confused as well.
I began by explaining how important it is to have the habit of “Beginning with the end in mind” – a widely known habit from Stephen Covey’s book, “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person.” They wrote down three goals for their football season and three goals for the next five years.
I went on to share about Paul in the Bible and how he lived “with the end in mind”, as well as sharing some of my own story. I finished by asking a very serious but important question:
“If you were to die tomorrow, what would happen to you? Would you go to heaven or hell?”
One brave boy raised his hand and asked a very important question that clearly the Holy Spirit set up for the killer shot. He asked, “What is the criteria for knowing how to answer that question and knowing where I will go?”
I reassured him that was a great question, asked him what he thought and went on to share how each and every one of them can know for sure. God showed up in one of the most powerful ways I have ever experienced personally:
16 of those high school students raised their hands to accept Christ.
All of them have been invited to a weekly Bible study. On average, five players and one coach attend each meeting. Pray for God’s Word to take root in their hearts.
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