A Knock at the Door

A smiling woman opened the door in response to our knock and swept us into her little home in Trujillo, Peru. When she learned we were visiting from North America, her eyebrows went up. With astonishment she turned to me and asked, "Then why are you here in my humble home?"

Georgiana, a local church member who accompanied us, told us Gabriella had been baptized a year before but had not been back to church since.

I asked Gabriella if she had some questions or issues of concern. "No," she said, shaking her head sadly. "I have been working seven days a week to be able to keep this house, humble though it is, and to have food! If I don't get out on my bicycle to sell, we have no money!"

My mind was a bit blank when presented with the real problem of eating versus church attendance and Sabbath keeping. I breathed a silent prayer, then asked my Milo Academy students there with me, Amber and Philip, to pray, while I trusted the Holy Spirit to give me the needed words.

We then talked about faith, how to take little steps at a time, of trusting enough to wait and see what God would do. I told Gabriella I was sure I couldn't afford to fly to Peru, but God had indeed provided a way, and here I was in her house! I urged her to trust God enough to keep His Sabbath as He had asked.

Gabriella's eyes widened and she stamped her foot in the dirt floor. She shook her head and I started to apologize.

But instead tears welled in her eyes. "Sister! I am not offended." She swallowed hard and so did I. "You just said the exact words of Jesus!"

This time MY eyes widened. She continued, "A week ago I had a dream that Jesus was knocking at my door. When I opened the door, He told me I needed to trust Him and keep His Sabbath. Sister, I could not do that, and I went to work last Sabbath. But all week that dream has bothered me." She turned to me and grabbed my hands.

"Last night, I again had the dream. But I knew what He would say. I did not open the door!"

Tears were rolling down both our cheeks now. Gabriella shook my hands, where they were clasped with hers. "I cannot believe that here you all are, sent by God all the way from the United States, to tell me what He tried to say in a dream. You knocked on my door, just like God did! Oh my sister, if I am that important to God, I had better learn to trust, hadn't I?"

We prayed together and that next Sabbath, when I stood up to talk, I noticed Georgiana grinning from ear to ear as she frantically waved my gaze across the church. It was Gabriella, our humble hostess, there to keep God's Sabbath and begin her new walk of faith.

Editor's note: The author, Carol Bovee, with Milo Academy students, joined other groups from the Northwest on this short-term mission trip to Peru in March.

June 01, 2010 / Perspective