Take some time to be encouraged by this amazing story out of Costa Rica today!
Recently, the Aguilar family (who are missionaries with us in Mexico) visited Costa Rica. During their stay, Luis joined a mission team to the south of Costa Rica to an indigenous area.
One particular day, they decided to visit some hot springs out in the middle of nowhere. They drove the car as far as it would go, and then walked a couple of kilometers in the jungle to this gorgeous water hole.
As the team arrived, a small group of people scurried out of the water and disappeared into the jungle. A little bit later, they came back, dry clothing over dripping wet bodies; three young men and the wife of one of them.
They hung out at one edge of the pool, speaking to each other in a native tongue, and every once in a while, pointing at Luis and snickering. Luis took advantage of this interest and went over to talk to them. He found out they were Panamanian and had come over to Costa Rica to work in the coffee harvest. He began asking them basic words in their language to build trust. After a bit, he asked them what the word for “God” was. They said they didn´t have a word for God, but used the Spanish “Dios.” He explained that in one of the Mexican native tongues, Nahuatl, the word for the Lord of heaven, was “Toteco”. He then explained the meaning of “Toteco mitz tiochihua”, God bless you, explaining the importance of being in favor with God.
In the ensuing questions and answers he realized they had no idea who Jesus was, and had literally never heard of his birth, crucifixion and resurrection. So he told them the story and shared the Gospel using Revelation 20:12, telling them that in heaven there was a Book of Life where their names could be written, and find God´s blessing.
They immediately accepted the message and prayed to receive Jesus. By then, the rest of the mission team had drawn near, and the suggestion was made for them to be baptized immediately.
So Paul and Luis began baptizing the young men, and the joy on their faces was indescribable. One of the team members ran back to the car to get a Bible and gave it to them. They received it as the greatest treasure, and were amazed to see the Words that Luis had told them were really written down in this book.
The wife hung in the background, apparently listening but refusing to participate. Suddenly the women in the team realized it was a gender problem, so they surrounded her and began explaining the Gospel to her, woman-to-woman. A few minutes later she was baptized also. One of the members of the mission team is serving as a missionary in Panama, so they exchanged contact information, to receive follow-up. Subsequently WhatsApp messages continue to show their deep gratitude for knowing that their names are written in the Book of Life.
As Luis related this story, he said that the beauty of the surroundings faded around him, as he saw the deep joy and beauty of the four who heard about Jesus for the first time and embraced Him completely.