Today’s Reading: Acts 4:11-12 (NIV)
[Peter said,] 11 “He is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to me by which we must be saved.”
There was no cool breeze under the hot summer sun, the day we sifted sand for the mortar used to erect a 12’x14’ concrete block home for the Jose Cortez family in Rio Bravo, Mexico. Christian volunteers and from Salem, Cherryville and Edgar Springs, Missouri, offered a helping hand and came to share the Gospel of Christ through hard work and open hearts with the people who lived in this neighborhood. The living environment and community culture was vastly different from anything I had ever experienced. Many of the families lived day to day in extreme poverty, struggling to have life’s essentials. Their housing consisted of makeshift walls of cardboard and blankets, tin roofs, and dirt floors. Small homes were going up all over the place, being built by Volunteer in Missions teams from around the world. Their hope was to provide much-needed shelter for the families who lived there.
It has been ten years since I visited Rio Bravo. The photographs and journal entries I kept throughout the trip bring back vivid memories. I did not speak fluent Spanish, and was grateful for two of our volunteers, Angel and Holly, who helped bridge the language barrier. We led a Vacation Bible School for the children. I will never forget their bright, smiling faces. The mothers stayed with their children and helped design t-shirts, using puff paints and dye. The wee ones loved to sing and dance, and we played “Hokey Pokey” more times that week than I had played my entire life.
It was a holy moment when the roof was raised over the Cortez home. Our work was complete and it was now time to leave. The family and all of the volunteers gathered inside the home to seal its foundation in prayer. Pastor Don prayed that this family would be kept forever safe in the power and presence of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. As he spoke, his words were being translated into Spanish, so that the family could hear and participate in the blessing of their home. Every time Pastor Don spoke the name of Jesus Christ out loud, I remember a cool breeze flowing in and out of the two open windows and doorway. There was no doubt in my mind from where the wind was coming. It is the cool breath of the Holy Spirit, responding to the name of Jesus, as it pours out new hope, new life. Even ten years later, when I close my eyes and remember, I can still taste His breath of fresh air.
The spiritual capstone of the Cortez home was firmly placed in the name of Jesus. It is in His name alone that we receive everlasting life. Jesus Christ is the only One who saves. No matter where you live, you can have that same holy capstone in your home today. Offer your living space up to the Lord Jesus Christ right now. Give Him your whole heart. Invite Jesus to come in and be Lord and the head of household. I can feel His cool breeze coming. Can you?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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