As we begin a new year and a renewed hope that God will move in the hearts of people all over the world, I’d like to share one of the many stories of redemption I have been privileged to hear. It is the story of a Guatemalan man who was born in the 1940s, but regardless of the continent and the time period, it can be your story if you surrender your life to Jesus.
The following is the story of Eduardo in his own (translated) words:
“MY LIFE BEFORE I ACCEPTED JESUS AS MY SAVIOR
I was born in a Catholic home. My parents married in the Catholic church. They had five children and I was the fourth. When I was two they divorced. When I was six my father moved us to live with him and separated us from my mother. The next five years were filled with sadness and loneliness.
My father’s family had social gatherings with drinking and alcohol. I learned to drink. When I was eleven my mother took us back. I remember that my grandmother took us back to her. I was overjoyed to return to my mom. But I continued sneaking off to parties where I drank alcoholic beverages without my mother’s knowledge. I thus continued a sad pattern of life, which had no hope. We lived in Quetzaltenango where I received my high school diploma from a Catholic High School when I was 18.
HOW I RECEIVED JESUS CHRIST AS MY LORD AND SAVIOR
When I was 19 I was living with my mom. I was a member of the San Francisco Sports club, and I was the captain of the soccer team. After every game we would drink alcoholic beverages. I also would go to parties. I was an interim teacher in a national school when a Baptist missionary arrived. He was looking for a teacher to teach him Spanish. We agreed that he would pay me $5.00 an hour.
I soon realized that Michael did not have any vices. He was always friendly to everyone and would share the love of God with everyone. He told how Jesus died on the cross for our sins. This impacted my life. The result was that on December 24, 1964 at 2:00 P.M. I felt a need to change my life.
At that time my heart and life was empty, hopeless, sad, and filled with bitterness. At 7:00 P.M. I went to Michael’s house and asked him to help me because I was not feeling good. He read John 3;16 in the Bible to me where it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” When he read this verse in the Bible I knew that I needed to be saved. He helped me to pray by repeating a prayer and I received Jesus as the Savior and Lord of my life.
HOW JESUS GIVES MEANING TO MY LIFE
I was baptized June 6th of 1965 in the San Lazaro River. I moved to the capital and started attending the Gethsemane Baptist Church. I met my future wife, Marina Sayes, in that church. We married June 21, 1969. God has given me three children in our happy home. My oldest son and my daughter are missionaries in the United States. The youngest son is also a pastor in Guatemala.
Today Jesus is the hope of my life. Having him in my heart is a great blessing. He gave me a home that I never had before. He also gave me purpose, which has led me to serve as pastor of a Baptist church in Guatemala City. I also have earned a degree in psychology in order to provide counseling to families and marriages that are having problems.
Just like Jesus Christ changed my life and gave me happiness, it is my desire that the Lord Jesus will fill your heart with the peace and happiness that only he can give.”
If your life feels hollow and empty, it may be because you have a “God-sized hole in your heart.” What does that mean exactly? That ache that you feel, that loneliness you have, that yearning for meaning in your life have been felt by countless people just like you throughout time. Eduardo felt it as well, and someone took the time to tell him why it was there and how it could be filled.
His name is Jesus and he is calling you to him. Will you humbly accept his free gift of salvation today?