Pulling Weeds

Duver watering in Maria's yard

Duver watering in Maria’s yard

Some of the rows of new plants we weeded

Some of the rows of new plants we weeded

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.

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)

7 thoughts on “Pulling Weeds

  1. Really enjoy reading about your adventures and experiences. It’s so wonderful, don’t you think, to be in a totally new environment, and see another way of life…and different culture, and new ideas, etc. It really opens us up to another beautiful facet of God’s World, His church, His creativity. 🙂

  2. Hi Mary. I really enjoyed reading your blogs and will keep you in my prayers. God and I are both extremely glad for your obedience to move to Ecuador. I am a bit envious of you living the simpler life. I have often felt like life would be so very different with out social influences from the West. I believe those influences make it harder on ourselves. Definitely harder to hear God. I will keep in touch. God Bless You, Lorru

    • Thanks, Lorri – good to hear from you and thanks for reading! I agree that in the West it is much harder to “dial down” and “drown out the noise” in order to hear God – but it takes intentionality wherever we are! Be blessed!

  3. Mary…this sounds just like you. And it is an example of how we all should respond to the inner voice when we see others who can use a helping hand or word. You are on a good course…keep listening to the Spirit and keep learning. Love and blessings to you…John and Jean

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