Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lent: Te protejo con la sangre de Cristo

Blessing #1 - Orlando

In 2009, I visited Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (80% of the population lives on $2 a day).  Just before I left to go there, I developed a massive inner ear infection.  The school nurse was nervous about the amount of pressure that was on my ear drum at the time.  I started my antibiotics, and I got on the plane anyway.  I spent a couple days on my own, meeting one of the kids I sponsor through Compassion International, and then I met up with my mission group in Costa Rica.  We stopped long enough to pick up our missionary, David Webb, and his summer intern, head to the river, get on a boat, and enter Nicaragua by water.

It was there that I met Orlando, the then Nazarene District Superintendent for that area.

Orlando touched my life deeply those two weeks.  The man traveled all the way from his home to be with us, but chose to sleep on the dirt floor of a nearby house.  I don't know if it was because he wanted to show solidarity with the community or he had some moral or dictated stance against accepting a room from us in the hotel where we stayed or what, but it touched me nonetheless.

Orlando got up before us and went to bed after us.
Orlando organized our missions activities.
Orlando suffered through our horrible attempts at Spanish, making efforts to          communicate with all who tried.
Orlando sat with me as I heaved my parasite-infected guts out under the                Nicaraguan sun.
Orlando found me a doctor in the middle of the night.
Orlando woke up the bus driver to take me to the hospital.
Orlando insisted upon staying by my bedside, to wake every time I                        whimpered.
Orlando showed me Christ in a way I had never seen before.

David, Orlando, and another man who helped us do construction on a school.  Photo taken by Ashley Meeks.
The question still occasionally baffles me: Why would a man shepherding the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere make time to care for a spoiled little rich girl like me?  Surely, he has much more pressing issues on his plate.

And yet, he still continues to take care of me.  I want to share with you one of the most recent emails I got from him.  I will post it in the original Spanish, because I believe firmly in preserving the intended quality of the message (many things from many languages simply cannot translate into English).  You can find the translation here.

Dios te bendiga, espero que cada dia mejores en tu vida espiritual.
Te protejo con la sangre de Cristo y el poder de Cristo cada dia en tu vida.  No dejes que el diablo te robe la bendicion y la salvacion de alma.  No dejes que  la oscuridad de este mundo empañe tu salvacion y las dudas te sieguen tu mente.  No dejes que tus impulsos  te traicionen. 
Los problemas de este mundo siempre estan.  Nosotros nos morimos y los problemas se quedan en la tierra. 
Con Cristo estoy juntamente crusificado y ya no vivo yo mas Cristo vive en mi:  
En Cristo,
Orlando Alvenda 

I can't tell you the blessing it is, knowing I have a prayer warrior like Orlando on my side, slashing away at Satan for me, when I get too weary to do it myself.  Orlando is the man I think of when I direct my thoughts to my Christ-model here on Earth.  Yes, Orlando is definitely only human, but if I look forward to one day hearing Christ come to him and again say, "Bien hecho, siervo bueno y fiel."

Who is your Christ-model?  Why?

***Don't forget to sign the petition to save refugees from North Korea!***

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