We hope that you’re doing real well. Everything here in Panama is going great. We’re getting excited about several things that God is doing in our midst. We look forward to future posts where we can tell about all what God is doing here. But we’d like to take some time to share a specific story.
I (Derek) would like to tell everyone about a young man that I met in Icandi, the Kuna village that we traveled to several weekends ago. The young man I want to mention immediately stood out from the crowd. He is an albino Kuna. He has the body and face of the indigenous Kuna, but is very light complexion, whiter then any of us Americans, like an albino of any other people group.
This young man is named Jorge, and there is a calling on his life for Christ. We were not in the village very long, but Jorge made an impact on my life. He immediately got to know the group, and I noticed him using a little bit of English, and speaking fluent Spanish, both of which were rare in this village! (very few speak English, and most only know a little bit of Spanish, their main language is Kuna).
I spoke to him on several occasions in Spanish, and the second evening we were there he asked me to write down some phrases in English and Spanish so that he could learn more English. I did, and gave the sheet to him. He immediately asked for several more phrases, probably 10 or so. He was very motivated to learn more, excited for each thing I was telling him.
The next morning we were scheduled to leave by 6AM. Jorge showed up at our hut before 5AM with some more phrases for me to translate for him (about 50 this time). I started to do it as I was trying to pack up our stuff to leave, wishing I had more time. Most of the phrases were his testimony of how Jesus changed his life.
What impressed me about Jorge was his desire to learn. He not only wanted to learn English, but has learned Guitar too. He has played guitar for one month now, so he is the best in the church and leads the church in worship each Sunday. He is ready to serve Christ, and excited about what all God has for his future.
I learned another thing from Jorge that was very valuable. As we were leaving, he brought me something, and told me he wanted me to have it. I wasn’t even real certain what it was, but as I looked closer, I realized it was a piece of particle board, shaped sort of like a cat, with a cloth on it to represent a tiger. I think that Jorge made this, and it is a precious gift to me, because I know Jorge does not have many physical belongings on this earth.
As we went home, riding in a boat across the lake in the rain, I held the gift under my poncho, careful to not get it wet. I didn’t want to put it in my bag for fear that it would break. I really feel like Jorge gave this gift from his heart, from all that he had. I am certain that is what kind of gift God wants from each of us. God doesn’t care much about the fancy decorations, the wrapping paper, or how professional or incredible our gifts, worship, or service is to him. He wants our heart, our all.
It was obvious to me that Jorge is giving God his whole heart. It doesn’t look fancy or impressive or anything else, but his heart belongs to God. What an example to follow! Just as Jorge humbled me with a gift, the best he had to offer, we should give our best to God. He wants all of our hearts, every day. This is not an easy thing to do. It will come with pain and suffering, good days and bad days. But if we truly give it all to Christ, just imagine all that he could do through us!
Thank you Jorge, my brother in Christ, for this incredible reminder, and the sweet gift you gave me. May God bless you in more ways then you could ever imagine, and may each Christians strive to follow your example of service, and giving.