A heartfelt story recounted by Nemo, one of PBM’s newest Bible Institute instructors.
At a recent Bible Institute training near Ixcan (10.5 hours north of PBM’s Mission Base), an obviously poor student dressed in typical Mayan clothing arrived late. Her name was Maria, and she was very emotional and apologetic as she explained why. “I am so sorry…my father passed away yesterday, and I had to bury him this morning before coming to class.” I was stunned that she had even come and asked myself the question, “Would I have?” I knew the answer, and it broke me.
The following day Maria was visibly distraught and tired. She was struggling, so I encouraged her the best I could, but she did not speak much Spanish. She did have her Bible, though, printed in a Mayan language. She read some verses I showed her. I thought I knew all that she was going through. I did not. She had not yet shared her entire story.
The following day, she did not look well, and I became even more concerned for her. As I approached her again, I realized she was now running a fever. Fearing she had contracted covid and would be contagious to the other students, we encouraged her to go to the hospital. She refused. Shyly, she lifted the edge of her skirt ever so slowly, revealing a large wound on her right leg. It was horribly infected. She explained, in broken Spanish, that a dog had viscously attacked and bitten her as she walked to our Bible Institute…right after having buried her father. I turned away, unable to hold back my tears. Who am I to think I can minister and console someone this in love with Jesus? Am I that in love with Jesus?
She still refused medical help, desiring instead to stay and learn more of her Savior. Later I talked with her more. With the little Spanish she knew, she shared that her journey to reach PBM’s Bible Institute included a three-hour ride down bumpy, winding roads on a not-so-new bus and then another hour-long walk to arrive at our training center. She expressed how it brought her such joy to make the trip.
Maria’s strong desire to learn more about Jesus, her Savior, was so important that no sacrifice was too much to keep her from HIM. Is that not the same heart our Savior has for us and for those HE has called us all to? Did HE not sacrifice everything to reach you and me? Can we then not sacrifice our hearts, our lives for the very ONE who gave HIS for ours?
*On June 4, Maria will be graduating from the PBM Bible Institute. Please Pray for her and the other students as they prepare for their final module of training and graduation ceremony that they have been working towards for 2 years!