Monday, June 16

Well, first of all you have to know that Marcelo is the coolest Argentine guy ever! He was our wonderful bus driver for the first week of our trip. He would always come in to church with us and go out to eat with us. He loved to joke around and be our friend. One particular night we were eating dinner together at one of our favorite pizza stops. John was acting wild and crazy and someone said, “ We need to take out his batteries.” After translating this to Marcelo he explained that we just needed to tie up his hands and plug his mouth. I said, “ That would kill him!” “ No, no to tie his hands. He’d be fine. It’s closing his mouth that he would die!” He’s a hilarious guy and we all love him!

Marcelo at Tigre

Another night Marcelo sat with Josue, Jamie and Dena. Josue asked the girls, “If there was one thing you could change about yourself or your life/your past what would it be?” After answering, he let Marcelo respond. Which started a very interesting, God-led conversation between Marcelo and Josue.

“The things I did wrong that ruined my marriage.” Then he tried to cover it up and say that he was good man now by doing the right thing (turned over a “new leaf”).
“There is one thing that you are missing in your life in order for you to start being a good man.”
“What is it?”
“Are you really curious?”
“Yes, yes.”
“Yes, tell me.”
“I’ll tell you at the end. “
“No, please …tell me now. “
“I’ll tell you on the last day before we leave.”
“No… Okay, okay. My heart is pumping hard right now but I’ll wait.”
Before their table ate Josue prayed over the food and for Marcelo’s salvation (in English).

The very next day we found out that he was let go from his job, he would no longer be our beloved bus driver! Waaaaahhh!! “ No, not Marcelo!” we all cried! We lived in pain and agony for more than a week, praying and not knowing when we would ever see him again.

Monday, we all loaded up for a day of shopping in Tigre. We invited the youth from the church to go with us, so we had to take another vehicle. The problem was that they didn’t have any more drivers. Josue rode in the other vehicle. But none of us knew until lunchtime that it was MARCELO that drove him! “What? Marcelo? Where?” Afterwards we all met him outside covering him with hugs and pictures, laughter and smiles (and our broken Castellano phrases).
Later, Josue filled us in on the details. Marcelo had told him that that night in the restaurant he already knew he was going to be let go but after Josue prayed for him God gave him a new job the very next day. He got to see how God answers prayer.

As we were arriving at the hotel Pastor Salazar and Josue prayed for everyone and specifically Marcelo’s salvation. Right when they finished praying Josue got a text message from his friend that said, “Psalm 19 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight. I’m praying for you that you would be a clean channel for Him.” We unloaded the bus, I told Marcelo I was praying for him, and then everyone scattered off to their rooms…except Josue. He wasn’t even on planning on talking to Marcelo, but when God leads…well, things happen. Josue asked him what he saw in us that was different.
I think that’s so interesting how he could see that in us.
“Marcelo, do you remember what we talked about that night when I said there is one thing you need to be a good man.”
“Yes, of course.”
“Do you have any idea of what that thing is?’
“Umm… I need to be taller?” he said jokingly (he’s like 5’4”)
“Do you remember what we prayed for?”
“Yea, you prayed for me.”
“Do you know what prayer is?”
“It’s asking for someone to be better or feel better.”
“Ask who?”
“I don’t know. Who?”
“It’s asking God.”
“When you said your heart was pumping that was God telling you, “Marcelo, surrender yourself’.”

He still felt that he was fine, no problems. Josue questioned him on his relationships with his ex-wife, girlfriend, and two children. He told him to consider what life would be like in the future. How his decisions affect the lives of his children, how hard it will be to keep their respect when they have split parents with conflicting answers. What will keep them from getting into alcohol and drugs?

“You have a load on your hands. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence, Marcelo, that I came all the way from Mexico and I’m standing in a parking lot, talking with you and sharing this with you tonight.”

Tears welled up in Marcelo’s eyes. “I know how much you all love me. There is something different about you. I want it.” He had to go but he promised Josue another conversation before we leave. “You guys are so easy to love.” Marcelo said and closed the bus door.

To be continued….

With Marcelo

… and Marcelo can be as crazy as the Americans!

Crazy as the Americans

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  • Shirley Givens

    Oops, I forgot to sign it,that was written by your truly…Crystal Givens. =)
    And the end of the story goes… Josue and Marcelo have not yet had their last conversation but God is still working (they have each other’s phone numbers) I guess there’s some talk going around Argentina that Josue still owes him. =)
    God is awesome! I love my team! Chow pipo!
    ~Crystal~ Job 23:10 ~

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