Norma used to come to church some Sundays, along with her six children. Most of the time, however, someone from church went to visit her. Norma lived in a "villa miseria," one of the shantytowns in Argentina where the poorest of the poor live. This villa was situated on a dirt road that bordered an irrigation canal on the edge of town. The further you got from the asphalt road, the poorer the houses. Norma's house was the last house, basically some tin and some cardboard boxes stacked together the way you would a house of cards.
Norma's husband, Fernando, was a barrel-chested farm worker who drank away most of the family's income. After drinking himself into oblivion, he would come home and beat Norma and the children.
Finally, the men of the church decided that this could not go on. We called an emergency meeting to discuss how we could best help Norma, how to help her leave Fernando and escape to a safe place.
At some point in the evening, someone suggested that maybe we were looking at things from the wrong perspective. We were talking about Fernando as if he were the enemy, when, in fact, he was himself being abused by our enemy, Satan. We spent time that Saturday evening praying for Fernando, praying that God would touch his heart.
The next day, Sunday, when one of the Christians went to visit Norma, Fernando came out to greet him. Tears were streaming down his face as he begged to know what he needed to do to change his life. Soon Fernando gave his life to Jesus, being baptized to begin a new life. Change wasn't immediate, but Fernando began trying to live the way he should.
I'm sad to say that we were a bit shocked at first. I'm not really sure why. Wasn't that what we had asked God to do? I'm afraid that sometimes we talk better than we believe, we pray beyond what we actually think God is going to do. But the fact of the matter is, God still touches lives, He still helps people change if they will only let Him do it.
I'd like to tell you more about what God can do for you and for everyone. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.