1450) “God, Give Me Another Chance”

Voice of the Martyrs magazine, April 2017, page 11, (www.persecution.com)

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     As Roberto Santo Gomez looked back on his life, he felt like he hadn’t amounted to much.  He was empty inside and his heart was filled with hate.  As a member of the leftist Zapatista rebel group, his work involved shaking down people for money, running drugs, and fighting the government.  But that hadn’t given his life meaning, and now he felt trapped by the Zapatista cause.

     After considering his options, Roberto decided he would go north to the United States and try to make some money.  As many others had before him, Roberto hopped the train that runs from Chiapas in southern Mexico to the U.S. border.

     The trip didn’t go as planned, however.  Roberto fell from the train, severing his left arm and leaving him with multiple fractures.  As he lay on the ground in agonizing pain, he suddenly recalled the words of a street preacher he’d once heard in a park, and his thoughts turned to God.

     “God, if you exist, give me another chance,” he prayed.  “Give me life and I’ll get up and I’ll look for you and I will speak about you.”

     God answered Roberto’s prayers.  He survived the accident, returned to his home and, true to his word, became an itinerant preacher.  Roberto is still poor by earthly standards, but he lives by faith and survives on the generosity of those he meets.  “When I hear him preach, it touches my heart because he preaches with such passion,” a local Voice of the Martyrs worker said.

     The street preacher from Roberto’s past had such an effect on him that he decided to do the same kind of work.  He shares God’s love in parks and on street corners with anyone who will listen.  Though he is often rejected or ignored, he knows from personal experience that God’s Word is planting seeds.

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Lamentations 3:19-23  —  I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Jonah 2:2  —  In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.

Romans 10:17  —  Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

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