Mission Path to Spain, Part 1
By Andrew McChesney
Luis fell ill shortly after he was baptized and enrolled as a theology student at Venezuelan Adventist University.
At first, he thought it was the flu. But the symptoms worsened and he struggled to breathe, physicians suggested that he might be allergic to the pollen from the orange trees that blossomed around the university. He received many injections, but his lungs still wouldn’t allow him to breathe. Physicians advised him to quit his studies and return home, but he didn’t want to leave. He continued to get tested.
Then a medical test showed that he was infected with HIV. It was a time when people were afraid of HIV in Venezuela. Many thought that they might catch the virus through touch. Luis was asked to leave the seminary.
Luis had no choice but to go home. At home, he underwent additional medical checks. The results were always the same: HIV. Luis couldn’t understand why. Hadn’t he given his heart to God? Hadn’t he been studying to become a pastor? He was very sad.
A church elder noticed his downcast countenance. “You should be joyful,” the elder said. “If you aren’t joyful, it’s because you haven’t met Jesus.”
The observation struck deep in Luis’ heart. He went to his bedroom and knelt down. He prayed to God for forgiveness. He acknowledged that he had not glorified God with his body in his former life and was at fault for contracting HIV. “I don’t want You to heal me,” he prayed. “I just want to preach for the rest of the days that You grant me.”
At that moment, something unusual happened. Luis felt like his heart started burning, and the heat spread over his whole body. He blacked out.
When Luis got tested once again, the results came back negative. Surprised, he asked to be tested again — and again. Always he was HIV-free. “Why are you asking for more tests if the results are negative?” the physician asked. “You don’t need to be tested anymore.”
Making good on his promise to God, Luis dedicated his life to preaching and bringing people to Jesus. He got married and completed his theology studies at the university in 2006.
“I haven’t stopped preaching the gospel ever since,” he says. Today, Luis and his family are missionaries in Spain.
Andrew McChesney is editor of Adventist Mission. This story is printed with permission.
World Church Prayer Requests
January 27 – February 2, 2023
- Pray earnestly for our church family in Ukraine and Russia and all across Eastern Europe. Pray for God’s sustaining grace, and protection, and provision in the face of these particularly critical times.
- Pray especially for the men in both countries who are religious objectors and who don’t want to participate in the conflict. Pray for special protection for these men!
- Pray for MENA (the Middle East and North Africa Union) and the workers in this region. Pray for more faithful Waldensian missionaries who will work behind the scenes winning souls.
- Pray for ADRA Colombia, and the Adventist churches in Bucaramanga and Medellin, Colombia, as they help Venezuelan refugees who have migrated to escape instability at home.
- Pray for the Hui people of China. Most of the 13,917,000 Hui have yet to hear the gospel of Christ. Pray for the believers who make up only 0.01% of this people group. May they be encouraged to share their faith with their neighbors.