My friend Steve, the first contact I made in Ecuador, had told me while living in Puerto Cayo he had discovered a small church here. It wasn’t long after arriving that I was introduced to the “pastor” – a man named Duver. Duver is a humble, simple man who loves God and believes He called him to preach and pastor for a small group of believers in Puerto Cayo. The “church” meets in a very small building next to his humble home. But preaching here is not a “vocation” as it is in the states, so Duver has to find a way to earn a living to support his wife and 12 children. Several people (including Steve and my landlady, Maria) have employed him to help care for their yards/gardens. So yesterday morning, as I was sitting on my patio eating breakfast and having my coffee, I noticed Duver out in Maria’s extensive, fledgling garden pulling weeds. I felt so humbled as I watched this man of God on his knees earning his living as I sat comfortably in my “paradise” sipping coffee. Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “Go and help him.” Now those who know me well, know that I may enjoy pulling an occasional stray weed here and there, but a passion for gardening is not something I posses and I’ve actually been known to have a “black thumb” when it comes to keeping anything alive. But I donned my beach shoes and after a quick Google translation of, “May I help you?” I headed out. His immediate response was, “Ah, bueno!” I had already told him I did not speak much Spanish and he speaks NO English, but after a few moments I told him as best I knew how that, “I love God and Jesus.” He then asked me if I had Jesus Christ in my heart (at least I think that is what he said) and I told him yes. A little later he asked me (I think) why I was here and I did my best to tell him that I now live here. His eyes widened and I told him (I hope) that I am here because God told me to live here.
So, I spent the next 3 hours alongside Duver, silently pulling all manner of grass and weeds from Maria’s garden. I certainly got tired, but how, after a short time, do you tell someone who is doing that to earn his living that you are tired and have had enough? Although little else was said between us (except a relieved “Terminado!” at the end), I trust that the Holy Spirit communicated what I could not – that I love and value him as a fellow human being and brother in Christ. When I have my own place, I may even hire Duver to help keep up my yard, but I wanted him to know that I valued what he did and did not feel it was “beneath me” to do the same.
I’d done a lot of work around the house the day before and had planned to spend the day resting, but God obviously had other things in mind for me yesterday – and I’m glad He did.