How can I survive day to day when there is no food or money? Little by little, hope was running out for Lorena López. Every day, she never had a good answer to that question.
You see, Lorena and her family live in Venezuela, where there is not enough food or medicine. The country used to be one of the wealthiest in Latin America. Now the citizens have to wait in extremely long lines for limited food supplies that cost many times more than they should.
In Brisas del Mango, where Lorena and her family live, the situation is no different. Despite Lorena’s husband's job, they never have enough money and the next day could mean not having enough food for their two young children. Lorena and her husband Víctor Martínez were always stressed and worried what they were going to eat and how they were going to survive.
Many of the families' income does not provide enough to buy what is necessary because the costs are too high or because they couldn't find what they needed.
But how can a church impact this reality?
"A few Christians came to my house and they asked me if I wanted to hear from the Word of God and if they could visit me," Lorena says. "I told them yes but I thought they weren't going to return because this has happened with other people before and they never came back."
They began to visit Lorena every weekend and talk to her about Jesus and to read the Bible with her. One day they asked Lorena if she'd like to accept Jesus into her heart and she said yes.
For Lorena, Christ arrived just at the right moment. The stress of living in fear of the next day was almost too much for her. She would cry at night because everything was so stressful and weighed heavily on her. And even though the reality in Venezuela has not changed, Lorena feels that with Christ in her life, she has hope every day.
Lorena’s husband Víctor was also feeling the heaviness of caring for his family in this difficult time. His work seemed to slip through his hands like water and even though he tried hard, it wasn't ever enough. In the midst of this, he heard the words of hope Lorena shared with him.
When the Christians invited him to the inauguration of their church, Víctor told his wife that he would go alone just for the food they were going to share at the end of the service. But when he was there, he knew God had been touching his heart for some time.
"When I was in this service, I remembered a dream I had had where there were various children and we were all meeting together. There I realized the church was this place in my dream and it was then that I said, ‘This was from God.’”
Now Lorena and Víctor have both accepted Jesus as their Savior and they have been baptized, being the first believers of this new church plant.
At this church in Brisas del Mango, they have found hope in the midst of difficult circumstances. Through the strength they have receive through prayer, discipleship, and the love of God, their reality has been transformed.