I knew it was a Jesus, straight out of Matthew 25, when he knocked on my door, a bare five minutes before I was to head off to teach at Bible School.
It was Tuesday, October 24, 2023. I had preached pretty with you at Lincoln two days before. I spoke on touching the leper, having time for the Samaritan, being there for the Jesus’s who were hungry, cold, homeless, naked, sick or in jail. I talked about sharing about Jesus everywhere you go, and anytime you can.
So, I answered the knock at the door.
“Manuel” told me he was part of one of the cartels. He was giving me details; I could see it would take him a while to reach the punchline. I, like the priest and the Levite who ran into the “half-dead man” on the road to Jericho [Luke10.30], was an important (self-important!), holy man with God’s business to do—I had to get to Bible school to teach!
So I invited Manuel to hop into my car over there in the driveway, I would join him in five minutes, and we would continue the conversation on the road.
His story is much too ugly to share it in these pages.He was part of the cartel’s kidnapping, torture, and killing.
They were holding captive a family with three children. The children were being tortured with scorpions while mamá watched. Her pleads brought Manuel’s own mother to mind. That was the straw that saved the camel’s back. Manuel told God he needed His help.
Manuel helped the family escape, and then he took off. He knew the cartel would be looking for him. It was four weeks later that he “happened” to knock on my door. He arrived in Porvenir from another part of Mexico purely by accident, God’s accident.
He went to class with me. He was all ears. Afterwards, we talked more about Jesus, about repentance, about new life, about peace. I am fully convinced his new birth happened before he ever stumbled upon me.
His process continues. I feel honored to have had a part in it.
I gave Manuel a ride to the bus station and some money for a ticket. He had not seen his parents since he left home at the age of 16. That was 20 years ago.
Today, two days later, I assume he is there.
I mentioned on Sunday that some things happen unintentionally (the lady in jail, “Tell me about Jesus, I want to be saved.”). And Manuel.
Other things are intentional.
It is time for this old man in his pajamas to take a prayer walk.
Because the highschoolers will soon be on their way to school!
What a way to live the life!