Maritza's Story: How is it with your soul?

Maritza crawling with her hands in shoes

We first met a young woman named Maritza when we traveled to the small town of Cara Susia, El Salvador, for a one-day wheelchair distribution. She ministered to us by pulling out chairs, bringing us bags of drinking water, and welcoming us to her town. The amazing thing was that she did all of this while crawling on her hands and knees. We all assumed that she would be getting a wheelchair during the distribution, but with a shy smile she said no, she didn’t need one.

As the distribution was taking place the next day, one of our team members, fluent in Spanish, asked her again about getting a wheelchair. She explained that she really did want one, but that she wanted to be sure everyone else in her town got one first; if there were any left over, she would accept one. As is usually the case, there were none left at the end of the day. Our team was so touched by the selfless way this young woman went about caring for everyone around her. Many of us could not bear to leave without being able to give Maritza a wheelchair, so we made arrangements for her to come the following day to a town a couple of hours away where we would be doing another distribution. In the meantime, we took her measurements and completed an evaluation to prepare just the right wheelchair for her.

The next day, she arrived and we got right to work making the final adjustments to her wheelchair. We gave her a Bible in Spanish and shared the gospel message with her. Maritza did not accept Jesus that day, but she said, “I will take this book and read about this Jesus you all talk about who sent you to help my people”. The whole next year, many of us prayed for Maritza. Her story was told in many places back in the USA, and many others joined their prayers with ours that she would come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Now, for the rest of the story….

The following year, we returned to the town where Maritza received her wheelchair. I never expected to see her again, but there she was. She had brought some others from her town in need of wheelchairs. As our eyes met, we hurried toward each other and embraced. As we talked, I noticed a change in her, a glow I had not remembered. I asked her if I could ask her an important question. She nodded. “How is it with your soul Maritza?” Her next words were music to my ears. She told me “Jesus is living in my heart now.” Of course, that was the glow I had seen.

As we minister in the name of Jesus, we sometimes plant seeds, at times we water the seeds and tend the garden, but the sweetest times are when we get to participate in the harvest. Through the working of the Holy Spirit and the fervent prayers of many, Maritza is now one of God’s own. She always had a servant’s heart, but now she is servant of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father.