A man approached three TEAM missionaries as they were walking down a street in the poor Marquez de Leon neighborhood in LaPaz, located near their ministry at El Camino Ranch.
Miguel was looking for help – but this wasn’t the usual request for a job or food or money. Miguel said he felt like his life was headed in the wrong direction, and he needed to change. After this encounter, TEAM missionary Phil Eager began to study the Bible with Miguel on a weekly basis.
The relationship grew over time, and TEAM missionary Peter Gatto offered Miguel a job on the ranch. As Miguel worked alongside the mason, his servant’s heart was obvious to everyone. He was content to do small jobs like mixing concrete and moving bricks and always offered help without being asked. He continued to study the Bible with Phil.
The turning point for Miguel came one night when God spoke to him in a dream as he was sleeping. In the dream, Miguel’s house was covered with mud and fungus on the walls, furniture, and floors. It was ugly and dirty, and filled every corner. Phil, Pete, and other Christians from Rancho El Camino appeared in the dream. They went with Miguel to the witch doctor’s house who Miguel believed had placed the curse on his house. They prayed over the witch doctor’s place. Meanwhile, a visiting work team appeared in the dream at Miguel’s house where the mud and fungus had all just fallen to the ground. They all helped clean Miguel’s house. Miguel woke up the next morning and knew that God had sent him a message in the dream – a message about the hope, salvation, and new beginning that the Lord offers to everyone.
Phil could see that the Lord moved powerfully in Miguel’s heart and life that night. Soon, Miguel’s wife Norma along with several other Mexicans in their neighborhood joined a weekly meeting started on Sundays by Phil and his wife Pattie in Marquez de Leon. Over the course of time, the two families began growing closer in friendship. Miguel and Norma join the Eagers for meals at their home and helped Phil and Pattie move into a new house. Pattie taught Norma how to bake a cake from scratch, and Norma’s mother taught several of the ladies from the group how to make tamales.
Miguel and Norma are active participants at meetings, doing small but important tasks such as setting up chairs and corralling the kids during outreach events. Though they started out being timid to speak up during discussions about the Bible, Miguel and Norma have become more confident and ask insightful questions. They have a hunger and thirst for the Word. Miguel even recently shared his testimony with a work team from an Illinois church helping out at the ranch. He recently said to Phil, "I am changing, and my family is changing." Phil and Pattie praise the Lord for this new family in Christ and how God is working in the neighborhood of Marquez de Leon.
-Written by Lisa H. Renninger
-Photos provided by Pattie Eager, TEAM missionary in Mexico