Remedios, Snakes, and Jesus
Sometimes you meet someone that just causes you to get a new perspective on life. That’s what happened when I met Remedios last year.
She lives at a ranch called La Polvora, an hour and a half north of our home in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. We go there every Friday and have a Bible study outside at Simon’s property. Remedios, and her husband Reyes, walk to the Bible study most every Friday.
Never in a million years did I think that I would live in Mexico and have such a love for such a group of people, especially the older ladies like Remedios. This woman has been living a rough life like I’ve never, ever experienced. How can I relate to her enough to love her…really love her, like Jesus does? How can she ever love someone like me with my clean clothes with no holes, my cute earrings, smooth skin, and nice glasses?
I’ll never forget the first time we visited the home of Remedios and Reyes. She wanted me to take her photo beside her flower bushes… it was precious! Reyes told us the story of his burro pulling him across his property by a rope. He rolled up his pants leg to show us his injuries. While we were there, Phil talked to Remedios about baptism. She had recently received Christ as her Savior, and Phil wanted to explain to her what the Bible says about baptism, and see if she was ready. Oh yes! She was ready! So he baptized her the next week… Remedios loves Jesus, and her Bible, now I’m telling you!
What an experience that baptism was! I’ve blogged about it before, a couple of months ago… so I won’t go through it here. But I’ll never forget her face when she rose out of that cold water in the plastic kiddie pool in October! She was grinning from ear to ear as she stepped into the outhouse to change into some dry clothes.
At first, last year when I met her, I couldn’t talk to Remedios in Spanish because I was still learning, and I couldn’t understand her Spanish very well, either. So, we just smiled and hugged a lot. But now, we have conversations, and it’s divine!
One time, I just had a strong desire to bring her a gift. We are careful to give when God prompts us, but not to give so often that the people here depend on us, or come around just for a handout. There’s a fine line, but God always shows us where it is. So, I decided to bring her some of my earrings…sounds a little weird, I guess. But she’s sometimes wearing old, faded, cheap metal, dangling earrings, so I brought her some of mine (also cheap, but she didn’t care). She loved those earrings so much that she wore them every Friday when she saw me… until she told me she lost one.
Another time, it began to rain as we were finishing up the Bible study… that’s a good thing when you live in the desert with no running water. So we quickly asked Remedios and Reyes if we could take them home in our SUV so they wouldn’t have to walk in the rain. They looked at us like we were crazy, I guess because they have walked in the rain all their lives, but they eased into the vehicle. Oh, what different lives we lead! I asked them if I could take their photo as we were driving them home. I treasure that day.
Last week, Remedios and Reyes were telling a detailed story about how their corn on their property needed rain so badly that it was dying. (This ranch is literally a sandy desert.) So, lately they’ve been having to walk for several kilometers everyday to work in a field for crops to eat. They try to “catch a ride” with any car going by, but they said usually no one will pick them up. That got me, now. They are in their 80s!
Remedios began to tell the story with all her animations! They were in the field, and she was cutting the weeds around the corn with a machete, (can you imagine?), when all of a sudden a snake was about to attack her. She said she took her machete and chopped him into three pieces! Don’t mess with Remedios when she has her machete!
It’s hard hearing stories like that. At first, I just want to fix their lives and make things easier for them. I mean the people have no running water anywhere in that community. They use rainwater, when they can collect enough, to wash dishes, clothes and their bodies. But Remedios loves her life, just like it is. She’s never known anything different. And the Lord cares for them, just like He does for me.
The greatest thing happened for her two weeks ago, when her husband gave his life to Jesus! We had Vacation Bible School at La Polvora, and here in Mexico, VBS is for the adults as well as the children. Remedios came everyday, and Reyes came with her on the last day. That’s the day that Reyes met Jesus. He had heard Phil explain the gospel many times over the last year. But on that day, he surrendered his little saint he kept by his bed, and traded it for someone real, someone who gave His life for him, Jesus.
If it weren’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t live here in Mexico. Really, there’s no telling where I’d be, or how miserable I would be. He gave me a new life many years ago, and now it is my honor and privilege to tell my story to others. And one of the blessings in it all is unforgettable people like Remedios. I love Remedios, and she loves me.