A Weight Lifted on the River

Roberto Flores, our GEM liason in Corumba, traveled this summer with the GEM team on the Pantavida along the rivers of the Pantanal.

“The landscape of the Pantanal is beyond commentary, a marvelous example of the beauty and creativity of the Creation. Each part of the river has something new and different, even as one fades into the other,” Robert says. “Wherever we went we were well-received.”

Read Robert’s testimony------

I helped with personal evangelism, while the people waited to be seen at the medical or dental clinics. The evangelistic encounter that most caught my attention was with the commander of the Bolivian military outpost, Sgt. Monroy, on Monday morning. 

While he waited to see the dentist aboard the Pantavida, I started a conversation, asking if I could share with him some things about God, which he readily accepted. I don’t remember just how I started the conversation, maybe asking if he had given his life to Jesus, or maybe that provocative question which puts the person at the door of heaven with someone inside asking, “Why should I let you enter?” But the opportunity arose to explain the correct answer or what it means to surrender your life to Jesus. 

It was interesting that the more I spoke about the truths of the gospel, the love of God, the forgiveness of God through the sacrifice of Jesus, the more interested he became and the more his eyes shown, making it clear that he was absorbing each word, each truth presented. When I talked about the possibility of us becoming the sons of God, using the passage John 1:12, he brightened even more: “What beautiful words”; and he continued to use those words each time we talked about the love of God, the forgiveness of God, Salvation in Jesus, and that he no longer needed to be afraid of death.
I explained to him that passing this life we have an eternal home reserved with Jesus, and need not fear death, or nor anything else in this world. Then he asked, “If I die now will I live forever with Jesus?” When I responded affirmatively, his sensation of freedom and satisfaction were visible, as though a weight had been taken from his shoulders.
So I asked him if he would like to surrender his life to Jesus. We prayed. I gave him a Bible and oriented him to begin reading the Gospel of John. I also recommended that he search out brothers in Christ that lived in the post so that they could pray together and strengthen each other.


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