Two days before Christmas, Rebecca, Abigail, and I arrived in the U.S. to spend time with family and friends during the holiday season. It was our first Christmas in the States in 11 years. Rebecca’s parents were also Stateside on a short medical furlough, so we spent Christmas and New Year’s with Rebecca’s side of the family. It was a time of sweet fellowship and precious memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
During our stay we visited churches in Indiana and California where my side of the family resides. We enjoyed spending time with family and different pastors and friends with whom we fellowshipped and sought counsel. The first week of February, we attended a Couples’ Retreat, which both refreshed and stimulated us to set new goals for our family and ministry. We were blessed tremendously! Immediately after the retreat, we returned to Bolivia, where the work continued marching on for the glory of God.
The first Saturday that we were back in Bolivia, I was knocking doors with a few men from our church when we met a man from Chile. He had recently married a Bolivian lady and moved to La Paz. I witnessed to him, and he received Christ as his Saviour and came to church the next day. My right hand had been deeply cut the day before while repairing our tabernacle, so I was the one-handed missionary at the time. The man agreed to be baptized that Sunday morning; but I could not get my right hand wet, so I decided to try baptizing with only my left hand. As he got into the baptistery, I put my right hand behind my back to avoid getting it wet. It was easy getting him under the water, but when it came time to bring him back up, I struggled. He jokingly laid under the water longer than expected and allowed bubbles from his mouth to raise to the top, so I grabbed his head with my left hand and pulled him up! Immediately when he emerged out of the water, he shouted out, “Thank you, Jesus, for saving me!” He declares that he was saved two times in two days: spiritually the day before when he received Christ as his Saviour and physically when I saved him from drowning in the baptismal waters!
Our ministry is slowly but steadily growing. We regularly pack out our tabernacle, which leaves little room to start new bus routes or have big days. Please pray that God would provide a larger facility to move our church into so we can continue to grow and reach more people to see them saved, baptized, and trained for the glory of God!
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support, which allow our family to continue to serve the Lord out here in South America. As our ministry continues to grow, the financial needs continue to also grow. We need your faithful prayers and support like never before! Eventually we will need to return to the States to raise new support, which I plan to do in 2016.
Bro. Xavier Lopez