Argentina: Maria's Easter Story
Noemí and Pedro Boretsky have been planting churches in Patagonia for many years. Planting a church like this often begins with a Bible study or a home group. In the gospel people find hope and deliverance. Mary also experienced this – God was close to her for many years, even in her needs.
Maria had a difficult start in her life. In her environment in Patagonia she experienced a lot of violence and alcohol abuse, as with many families in this region. Her parents were also alcoholics and repeatedly involved in violent crimes. When she was about six years old, they died in a violent altercation. Maria and her siblings had to grow up with their grandparents Herecio and Jacilda.
A new family
Exactly at this time, Silvia Huenchumán, a woman from the congregation of Noemí and Pedro Boretsky, founded a small house church in this place and invited her neighbors and friends to join. Grandparents Herecio and Jacilda also came and became part of this new Christian community. Since the grandmother was very old and could hardly leave the house, the congregation simply gathered in her house and celebrated their services there for years. Maria was still a child but experienced this Christian community as a new family, hearing many biblical stories and singing songs about the love of Jesus.
When Maria's grandmother Jacilda died at the age of almost 100, her family no longer wanted services to be held in this house. The contact of the Christians with the children and thus also with Mary broke off abruptly. In the years that followed, she lost her faith. The young woman experienced a lot of bad things, suffered from depression and even wanted to take her own life in one of these dark hours. Maria no longer thought of the congregation. But God had not forgotten her.
A meeting with consequences
Last year, a young man from the church of Noemí and Pedro Boretsky “accidentally” met Maria at work and they started talking. It turned out that, at a low point in the midst of this painful time, she suddenly remembered the experiences as a child 30 years ago: the good times with the Christian community in her grandparents' house, the biblical stories and above all the songs about Jesus loving them! She got new hope again, even found a Christian community in her area and gave her whole life to Jesus.
Maria has been part of this community ever since. The confessed woman loves Jesus with all her heart and was able to solve many of her burdensome problems. Her children also believed. She now even has a little granddaughter. She is grateful for everything she was able to experience and hear as a small child with her grandparents. Even though many years passed, the good news of the love of Jesus changed her whole life, gave her salvation and new hope. Did her grandparents know what the Bible stories and songs about Jesus would do in their little granddaughter's life? That little seed in her life sprouted and grew. Now Maria is also telling her granddaughter how much the love of Jesus carries people.
Through us God has led you to faith; each of us did the work the Lord told us to do. My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it; but it was God - not us - who made it grow. It is not important who plants or waters, what is important is God, because he makes the seed grow.
Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 5-7