By Nicolas Serrano
Nicolás works with Esteban Toloza as one of the two founding pastors of Iglesia Familia de la Gracia (Family of Grace Church) in Rosario, Argentina. The church was planted in 2010.
In the life of the church, there are a lot of different things taking place. God continues to add to our flock, and the church is growing in Christ-likeness, but there does still remain opposition in many different ways. But, of all the things that are happening, I want to share with you the testimony of Matias, who was baptized this month.
Matias came to us about six months ago. He initially visited with his best friend, who happens to be my cousin Gustavo and who was baptized two months ago. From the time Matias began coming to our church, he was very reserved, observing but not understanding much. Some of the young men assumed the responsibility of surrounding him with love and telling him about the Gospel in different ways. In order to be part of the “pack,” Matias began to identify himself with the Christian culture, but without having experienced regeneration. At the same time, he began to get angry with the brothers of the church who continued to talk to him about the Gospel, thinking that since he could not understand what they were discussing, there was no reason to continue talking about it. He thought the exhortations to repentance were discriminating and aggressive.
When he could bear it no longer, he confronted one of the brothers in order to even out the score. However, in the end, he only received yet another exhortation to repent. But this time, the call was effectual. Matias was struck with a two-edged sword, and he returned to his house in a state of anguish and misery. He felt sad and burdened, but he thought to himself, “If I go to sleep, then this anguish that I feel will pass.” However, when he awoke, the anguish was still clinging to him, and it was even stronger than before.
He was unable to bear his state any longer. He began to see his own self-deception, that he could not reform himself, but must come dirty and vile to Christ for salvation. He fell on his knees for two hours and pled with the Lord to save him. Finally, the Savior heard from heaven and took the prize that He purchased on the cross with His blood long ago!
This young man had no Evangelical background, had never thought about the value and beauty of God in Christ, and had lived in the current of this world. Yet he came to count all as loss for the sake of knowing the Gospel of Christ. He had lived most of his young life closed up in his room, in the darkness of depression and in the idleness and addiction of video games. But now he walks the streets proclaiming to others that there is a treasure worth more than everything else combined – the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those among us who thought that Matias would never last long in the church were astounded and gave glory to God as Matias confessed his sins and his new love for Jesus at his baptism. What explanation is there for such a transformation other than that God, full of power and mercy, performed a miracle in this young man? In addition to this, Matias’s girlfriend Micaela has also professed faith in Christ, and both have decided to break off their relationship in order to seek the will of God with regard to their future.
Pray for Matias and Micaela and for their sanctification. Also please pray for us, that we might be true servants to them in Christ. Please do not stop pleading together with us for more laborers that are fit for every good work. How badly we need them in the midst of these fields filled with the harvest and with obstacles!