Ana and Francisco had given their lives for the communist guerrilla regime. They were rebels, deeply entrenched in the fight against the government of their country. Francisco was a general in the communist army. They were powerful and undefeated in their mountain hideout.
One day, through a small radio, Ana began to listen to the new AWR station. She was intrigued. Being a little more educated than most in her village, Ana could read and write but she had never heard about this man named Jesus. This Jesus said strange things such as, “love your enemies” and “do good to those who persecute you.” This was too much to comprehend. Ana was eventually joined by Francisco as they listened to the daily broadcasts.
One amazing day, a helicopter landed in their village to give medical care. Ana and her family were so thankful to have a chance to see a real doctor and dentist. They were intrigued that these same people were the people behind the AWR broadcasts. The doctors and dentists stayed a couple days treating villagers and would be picked up on Sunday.
On Sabbath afternoon, Ana and Francisco’s 3-year-old child, Dani, became violently ill. His fever spiked so high that he went into violent seizures. The doctors said they must get Dani to a hospital if his life was to be spared. Ana began to weep. It was a 12 hour hike down the mountain just to get to the lowlands and they didn’t have 12 hours. The medical missionaries and the villagers who listened to AWR joined in a large circle to pray for a miracle. They needed Dani to get better or to somehow be able to get him to a hospital very quickly. One villager, with a cell phone, offered to try to get a signal and see if he could track down the helicopter pilot. Maybe he would be willing to come back that day instead of waiting until Sunday. Away the villager ran, across the top of the mountain looking at his cell phone with each frantic step. But never did he find any signal. Two hours later, he came back sweaty and defeated.
The doctors said they must get Dani to a hospital if his life was to be spared.
Down in the lowlands Pastor Velazquez*, the local AWR radio broadcaster, ate lunch with several Adventists including the helicopter pilot. In the afternoon, as they were relaxing in the living room, Pastor Velazquez suddenly looked up and said to the pilot. “Why don’t you fly up to the mountain and get our medical missionaries this afternoon?” “Why would we do that?” asked the pilot. “We aren’t supposed to go till tomorrow.” Pastor Velazquez didn’t know what to say except “Well, why not go check on them today? It is only a 15 minute flight in the helicopter…” The pilot looked at the pastor with a puzzled expression on his face, but he too was dedicated to God and he had learned a long time ago that sometimes God works in mysterious ways. He nodded his head, climbed into the helicopter, and flew off to the mountain. Landing near the little village, he saw a couple running towards the helicopter carrying their sick little boy. “Oh please sir, can you take us? Our son will die if we can’t get him to the hospital immediately.” The pilot smiled and tried to swallow a lump in his throat. God had done it again! He had impressed hearts at just the right time. Thankfully, they had listened.
“And that is why we finally chose to become Christians and be baptized as Seventh-day Adventists,” said Ana with soft brown eyes filled with emotion. “God really does answer prayers! He doesn’t need a cell phone. He doesn’t need a signal. He is always available, and he hears me when I pray. He has changed my life and my family’s life forever! We are so grateful!”
Today, Francisco has traded his weapons for Jesus and brooms. AWR gave him some funds to begin his own broom making business. He makes approximately 100 brooms a week and hikes with them down to the lowlands to sell. It’s hard work. Often his back and fingers ache but he is happy. He no longer has to ambush and kill the enemy or spend his life looking over his shoulder in fear. He can be with his family. Soon Ana will have her own Bible, a gift from an AWR employee. When she heard this news, she was so happy, her face just beamed. Her dream of owning her own Bible was finally going to come true.
By Karen Glassford
Director for Centers for Digital Evangelism