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Free in Christ - The DeLand Family

Delands blog post

It is amazing to me how much a person can impact your life in such a short time. Jorge was sitting casually outside on a worn out sofa at the mission house for drug addicts. My first reaction upon meeting him was pity--poor guy, bless his heart! Besides being blind in one eye and having to use crutches for mobility, Jorge also has HIV.

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However, as he begin to unfold his story to me, I began to see him differently. Jorge told me, "I once was a slave to sin, but now I am free in Christ." To the naked eye Jorge appears to have nothing and yet, he has everything because he understands the freedom there is in Christ.
Then I met Roberto (pictured below), another live-in at the drug addict mission. He told me that because of his sin he was all alone. His wife left him for another man and his daughter took to the streets as a prostitute. He then affirmed that God had never abandoned him though. As we began talking, he asked me if I was ever afraid to surrender every aspect of my life to Christ. I told him that I had felt fear about total surrender before, and a life-changing conversation ensued. I was able to encourage Roberto and pray with him. He was extremely grateful and told me he hoped to see me again soon.
After spending the morning at the mission, I couldn't help but think about how I am Roberto. It is so easy and natural to judge Roberto and Jorge for being drug addicts, but honestly, my sin might be different, but it is still a horrible offense against an almighty, holy God. Yet, God loved me enough to send Jesus to die for my sin so that I can experience the kind of freedom that Jorge so vividly and enthusiastically described! Jesus transforms lives! How can we not share that fantastic news with others?

Praises and prayer requests.

1. Heather got her license as well! Please pray for the car situation. Lord willing in January we will have one!

2. I was able to sit down with Juan for over an hour and clearly explain the Gospel to him. He told me that he now understands his sinful state before God because before he thought he was a good person compared to everybody else. Please pray that he will humble himself and surrender his life to Christ.

3. Please pray for Heather and me as we will begin premarital counseling for Daniel and Ana Paula in the near future.

4. Please pray for me this weekend as I will be going up to Ayaviri (mountain village 6 hours away from Lima) to help Chris Harris (church planter in Ayaviri) put his house back together (long story). Also, pray for our family as we will all be going up to Ayaviri this Thursday!

5. Huge praise--the agriculture university has given me permission to volunteer in their language center and I have a meeting with the director of another university, Lord willing, next week.

6. Last night I am met with a missionary from Holland about partnering with his family in the college ministry. Prayers would be appreciated as we make decisions regarding any future partnership.

7. Please pray that I can find a part time job teaching English until our economic support is sufficient. Jehovah Jireh will provide!

Thanks for caring about us! Let us know how we can be praying for you!

Daniel, Heather, Esther, and Joseph
Psalm 90:12

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