I first met Adrian when he was six years old. His older brother, Jairo, was in grade 9 at the time and coming to the afterschool homework classes at the church. Adrian fondly remembers beating me at chess the first time his parents had me over for a meal. Jairo started coming to the teen outreach, then the church’s youth group, and then he accepted Jesus in 2014 and was baptized in 2015. From the start, he would bring his two younger brothers, Adrian and Joshua, to the Saturday Kids Clubs and VBS each summer where for years they heard the stories of Jesus and learned the Bible verses. In 2017, Adrian and his family moved from the town of Torrejón to the small town of Cabanillas about a half hour’s drive away.
Jairo went through a difficult time when he started dating a non-Christian and drifted away from the church, but he called me when Adrian, now in Grade 7, was failing Math. For the next three months until school finished, I would drive to their house every other Sunday to have lunch and study with Adrian. Often, it was Adrian himself who made lunch as he wants to be a chef and open his own restaurant one day.
Education is highly valued by Adrian’s parents, Ricardo and Justina, who both finished University in Bolivia before immigrating to Spain. This caused a lot of conflict between Jairo and his father and Adrian and his father over grades and furthering their education. However, it also made Ricardo and Justina very grateful for the support I was able to give their sons, inviting me over for a meal or to stay the weekend after they had moved to Cabanillas, allowing for very interesting conversations about God. They had both been raised Catholic but Ricardo especially is closed to God and religion. For the next year and a half, Adrian would take a bus and then a train to study at the homework classes at the church. In the Fall of 2019, he started staying after class for the youth meetings at the church and he gave his life to Jesus in November 2019. We continued studying online during the pandemic and lockdown but would often spend more time talking about Jesus and the Bible than his homework.
After the pandemic, a new church was planted in his small town and he started to attend, and is being discipled. He was baptized in July 2022. It was a special day with his whole family in attendance. He gave his testimony standing in the cold waters of the River Tajo where he bravely asked his father’s forgiveness saying, “I’m sorry for the things I did and said and for everything I made you suffer, even to the point of not wanting to call you my father. I’m sorry and I love you, but not as much as my Heavenly Father loves you. I hope one day that you are here with me in the church and that one day, we can meet up in Heaven and worship God together.” It was powerful to see this hardened Bolivian father in tears. We continue to pray for this precious family; for the salvation of Ricardo, Justina and Joshua; for Jairo to return wholeheartedly to Jesus, and for Adrian’s continued growth in the Lord.
Karen Morris – Spain