It was on a Sunday morning that we went out together with the Monte das Oliveiras community, where we work at, to take part in a soccer tournament. I, Gleydiane, had been invited by the girls to participate in the game, and of course missionaries always take advantage of opportunities to evangelize. In the community we were heading to we knew that there was no Adventist presence there, and since we had no gas to visit them later, we accepted the invitation.
So Cris (my missionary duo) and I got together some leaflets and books to distribute in the Barro Alto community, where we were heading to.
Before we left, I put on appropriate attire for the soccer game, and as I was getting ready, I noticed my Bible next to my bag. As I looked at it, my Heavenly Father said to me, “Take your Bible, you will need it.” At the moment I thought, “Oh, I’m already taking the books and leaflets, and if at any point I need to mention a Bible verse, I’ll quote the verses I know out of the top of my head,” but again the voice spoke to me and I thought, “Alright!”
I asked Cristiane to put my Bible in her backpack. As we went out with everyone, we prayed and went on a 1 hour boat ride. When we arrived in the community, we realized why the name “Barro Alto” (which means “high mud”). Despite that, the community is beautiful. On we went from house to house to give out the books and leaflets.
In one of the houses we met the Mrs. Rita and Selma, neighbors, and they welcomed us very well. Before we started visiting, I asked God to help me make friends and to smile because I may seem to have a mean face at a first impression. At least that’s what many people tell me when they see me for the first time. But the Lord helped me and I entered the houses with a huge smile, and Mrs. Selma and Rita were happy with our presence and with the gift they received.
As we spoke about Jesus, Mrs. Selma asked us to visit her father’s house. We said we would go in a little while since we were visiting each house in sequence. Mrs. Selma asked us to go that same instant and told us that he was recovering from an illness and that he had depression. So we went, and when we arrived at the house of Mr. Francisco, he was lying in his hammock. With a big smile I called him by his name and his daughter introduced us explaining I was a missionary nurse. Mr. Francisco was very asked us if we pleased with our visit and asked us if we were missionaries from the Catholic Church. We explained that we were from the Seventh-day Adventist church, and that God sent us to him because he is special. I knew about what he was going through so I told him that I had a gift for him. In the meantime his daughter went to get the pressure gauge, so I could check his blood pressure afterwards.
At the same time, I was asking God in silent prayer to show me what to say and read to him, and God answered me through Mr. Francisco himself as he told us in more detail what he was going through. He told us that his depression was due to his recovery from an illness. He told me he was too weak to bear it. When he said this, the Holy Spirit reminded me of two Bible characters: Job and Elijah. Job was very sick, and Elijah also had depression, and they both found healing and hope in Jesus. I shared this with Mr. Francisco, and read some verses from the book of Job (42: 1-6; 19:27). As I read, I realized that God had just used me, and I understood why he insisted that I should take my Bible. That was what he needed to hear and the verses I had in mind were not fitting for that situation. God cares that his Word reaches the people who live in distant places, in communities, in villages and in cities.
After reading, Mr. Francisco exclaimed boldly, “Today salvation has come into my humble house,” and tears rolled down his cheeks. With a cheerful heart I thanked God for being a vessel, and for how he always provides means for the Word to reach His children. Amen! I am very grateful for medical missionary work. May it be taught and carried forward because it is precisely the work that Christ did when he walked in this world.