End of Year Need and our Border Crossing Adventure
“Um, maybe just be careful, okay?”
The voice came from one of the passengers seated near the back of our white 15 passenger van.
The warning didn’t seem completely out of place, as we had been waiting to cross the Mexico/US border for nearly two hours in a line of cars surrounded by a swarm of merchants and needy individuals asking for money. Last week we had squeaked into Mexico twenty-five minutes before the border had closed due to “Caravan-related” rioting.
We had spent the week teaching a YWAM training class on international evangelism, and now, on the day we were scheduled to leave, we had heard rumors of another potential day of rioting and unrest. Hundreds of armored police had already converged several hundreds yards ahead.
Our driver, my niece Mikah, turned back and smiled.
“It’s fine, I promise…”
She slid her window down and gestured to the wrinkled gentleman waiting expectantly outside the vehicle. This was going to be interesting…
“Hola,” Mikah smiled at the man, “Dios te bendiga.” God bless you…
She slipped him a piece of paper with a Bible verse on it. He reached up from his battered wheelchair grasped the note, and unfolded it slowly with his gnarled, sun-browned hands.Hey friends! We’ve been handed the opportunity to reach tens of thousands in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines – all before the end of March, and WE NEED YOUR HELP! Watch the video for details and click here to partner with us in our vision to reach the world with the love and message of Jesus!
He read it slowly and then looked up at her and smiled broadly.
“Dios te bendiga!”
He then began to speak quickly in Spanish – too quickly for me to follow with my minimal understanding of the language.
I was watching him closely, though – being especially sensitive to his body language and tone of voice in our questionable situation – and he struck me as sincere and genuine.
Gesturing to Mikah emphatically, and then back to himself, he motioned clearly for her to give him something. I tensed a little, but then she turned to her console, picked up a worn Spanish Bible and handed it to him.
He took the Bible in his lap, opened it carefully, and began to read it to her, pausing from time to time to explain something or to make sure she understood.
He was TEACHING her, we learned later – explaining the deep, personal love of Jesus to her in a new way.
And for nearly five minutes, he continued – gently and passionately explaining how much Jesus loved us. As our car inched forward in line, he inched with us, wheeling his wheelchair along beside us.
The van was full of people who had already chosen to follow Jesus, but the old man was making SURE that we understood – he wasn’t willing to leave without knowing that WE knew God loved us.
At the end of the conversation, he offered Mikah an item from the candy selection on his lap, that he had spent the day selling to other motorists in the line.
“No, gracias!” She smiled.
But he shook his head emphatically – he didn’t want to sell something to her – he wanted to GIVE her something.
He insisted. She chose something, took it, and thanked him, and he turned with a smile, wheeling back slowly to the mass of traffic waiting with us.
“Was that what I think it was?” I shook my head.
She confirmed it, explaining what I had missed, and I sat back in my chair, deeply moved.
Amidst all of the politics, passion, and mistrust surrounding the border relationship between the USA and Mexico, this handicapped old man had just sacrificed his time, effort, and resources to share the love of Jesus with a van full of strangers.
The message of the moment had come from the unlikeliest of sources.
Because the crippled man had known that the love and message of Jesus was more important than any issue of race, politics or privilege.
And he had loved us enough to share that message with us no matter the cost to himself.
And THIS – is why we do what we do – modeled by an unsung hero amidst the chaos of the border.
Since 2012, by the grace of God, we’ve shared the love of Jesus in 28 nations and have seen tens of thousands of people respond. Since April of 2017, we’ve had the privilege of watching thousands respond to Jesus in twelve nations and territories on five continents – we’ve just finished up a packed few months of events in Israel, the West Bank, France, Belize, Mexico and across the American South and Midwest. Currently we are finishing up some recording on the West Coast, after which we’re scheduled to perform in the American Midwest, and then in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Brunei, the Philippines, and Thailand.
THANK YOU for being part of the team – for helping us share the love of Jesus worldwide. Our vision is to follow God’s leading and help reach as many nations and people as we can with the message of Jesus, and your partnership helps us reach the world together. If you’d like to help, click HERE to partner financially and follow us on FACEBOOK for daily prayer updates from the field.
Zach and White Ribbon Day