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A life transformed by the Gospel

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:33-35

Adelina had reasons to feel desperate, up to this moment her life had not been a bed if roses. Quite the contrary, perhaps: she had health problems, her husband was unemployed and was an alcoholic, one of her children abandoned their home without any further news from him, and her teenage daughter was fighting with depression, and she thought all this was God’s punishment for her sins. How is it possible to live like this?  What could we say or offer to a person who is carrying such a heavy burden? It is difficult to speak to a person in this condition about the hope that Jesus Christ brings to people’s lives. But this is what we have to offer, because it is the only thing that we can share that will renew a persons faith and hope in life: the Gospel of Jesus Christ resuscitated.

That was how Adelina came to our office in the center of San Miguel de Tucumán, filled with anguish, sadness, pain, anxiety, guilt and questions about the punishment that God was imposing upon her. She was desperate because she couldn’t see anything in her life that would let her believe that things could change and get better. The future was dark, and even more, she felt as if she had no future. This first encounter was the opportunity where God, in his love and providence, determined that Adelina receive good news, maybe the first in a long time: that God loved her so much that He had given his only Son Jesus Christ, so that she could now understand that nothing would separate her from his eternal company. There was no longer any reason to fear God. Now her life had a meaning again, because she had hope. Her life could be different; her troubles were not God’s divine punishment.

Adelina’s story is no different than those of other people that come to our office, where we offer spiritual help to face the different circumstances we find in life. Our work confronts us with human misery. Sin causes so much pain because it sinks people towards auto destruction. Only in Christ can we find freedom, and his Gospel of power destroys the chains of sin to bring faith and hope to all human beings.

This story has not ended yet. The Holy Spirit has given Adelina faith and today she gives testimony of this truth. Her life is better in some ways: she has found her son, her daughter has overcome depression; her husband is still a slave to alcohol, but the most important things are those you can’t see: her heart now belongs to the Lord, her life is filled with joy because her sins are forgiven, and she is sure that nothing will separate her from Christ’s love.

Holy Father, by your eternal grace you have given us the gift of Salvation, and you have released us from the chains of sin. Give us today the security that nothing can separate us from your presence, so that we can dedicate ourselves to serve you with joy in everything we do. Amen.

Biography

Sergio Rubén Schelske

Pastor of the congregation “Josué” de San Miguel de Tucumán.

We serve our community through the office that we have together with CPTLN in the center of the city. There we offer people literature about different subjects, referring to problems of today’s society. This way we offer answers from God’s word to help find the meaning of life and the hope that only God can give the human being.

We offer prayer meetings every Wednesday, where we ask God for the needs of all the people that visit us.

We also offer courses about learning to read and understand the Bible. This is how we have the opportunity to give deeper explanations of the Gospel of Salvation.

Other activities are the visits that we make to elementary and high schools, to give talks about subjects such as adolescence, values and models in life, dating, friends, self-esteem, etc.

A woman named LUCIA…

A few weeks ago, Lucía , from a small town in the province of Córdoba, left us a message on the answering machine. When we returned her phone call, we discovered that she was a 60 year old woman, a former language teacher, who was feeling very depressed, and even considering suicide. She was feeling very lonely and had not spoken with her daughter in a long time. We immediately tried to help her, encourage her, and we offered her some materials that we later sent to her. In the following days we contacted her again, and we now know that thanks to our conversations she was able to get in touch with her daughter again. Today we are working on the possibility of contacting a volunteer who lives in the area and could visit Lucía. We are praying for both of them so that God will guide and accompany them and for Lucía to receive the words of encouragement that she needs so much.