By Lubos Dzuriak
I found Jesus!
I found Jesús García in Puerto Rico — an amazing person and caring pastor of Iglesia Bautista De Metropolis in Carolina. Seeing his love and care for the community, the song Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus by Audio Adrenaline came to my mind many times.
The support of the local Baptist churches toward their neighbors throughout the difficult times of the aftermath of hurricane Maria is role-modeling. Hearing the stories from another Baptist pastor, Laura, about how God transformed people through our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico is very encouraging. In spite of their own difficulties and struggles, the doors of the churches were open to all, as they became the hubs of services to the neighboring communities. Many “non-church” people experienced church in a way that was unknown to them. It is beyond comprehension what the people of Puerto Rico have been through, and it is even more beyond comprehension how Christ-like our Baptist friends acted.
Truly, we have also witnessed the outstanding care of the members of Baptist churches. I was honored to be working with the rest of the team of Cooperative Baptists, even in the short amount of time, as we helped to renovate a house while most importantly building relationships. It was very precious to see people of diverse backgrounds, languages, races, nationalities and education get together for a common cause. The transformational power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was visible throughout the whole spectrum of our lives and days at the Pivot 2018 – Puerto Rico.
God loves Puerto Rico, and is able to paint colorful images on the canvases of the communities there and our lives here, even in the times of afflictions. God cares when people are fallen and uprooted from their homes. So should we. Something beautiful can come out of ugliness. The marvelously painted flag of Puerto Rico on the roots of a fallen tree visualizes these words most eloquently.
Missio Dei (God’s mission) is always two-way road. When others suffer, we suffer. When others rejoice, we rejoice with them. We brought love, passion and gifts to Puerto Rico, yet we took even more home with us. This is God’s economy; this is the Lord’s math of abundance.
Puerto Rico blessed us as we blessed the community there, and together we brought glory to the One who gave us life and created us as one Church… loving and serving one another for the benefit of all. Thus we are fulfilling the words of Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 “…that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Thank you, Jesús. Thank you, Jesus.