For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
– Luke 15:24
“My son has walked away from God and his family – and it’s all my fault!”
Pastor Bello’s guilt was overwhelming when he thought of his son. As a local pastor in Bolivia, Pastor Bello had worked hard to shepherd his congregation and his family. Now, the oldest of his three children was openly rebelling against the church, his convictions, and his family.
HIs depression was made worse by the lack of support from other family members and his own church. He heard the comments,
“How can he lead the church when he can’t even take care of his family?”
“Have you seen his son? It’s pitiful.”
It was hard, but Pastor Bello fervently and faithfully continued to serve the Lord – meeting the needs of the church – all the while worried about his son and feeling like there was nothing he could do.
Several months later, church leaders told Pastor Bello they had seen his son drinking in the plaza. This was a major blow for the pastor. His load of guilt and shame made it nearly impossible to stand in front of the congregation and preach.
Since the church had recently received a Proclaimer in South Bolivian Quechua, Pastor Bello decided to play it and let God’s Word speak directly to the people in their heart language. The people heard the Scriptures in a new way and the Lord used His Word to speak to the burdened heart of the father and pastor.
The next night, as he was crying out to God, he secretly wondered if God even heard him. He turned on the Proclaimer and the story of the prodigal son began to play. Pastor Bello knew this was a sign from God! His heart was lifted and suddenly he could pray and praise God again.
Within a month, the pastor’s prodigal son returned and reconciled his heart with the family and the Lord. Pastor Bello has gained a new confidence in the Word of God. He says,
“Now I’m implementing the Faith Comes By Hearing program in two of the classes that I am personally involved with. Thank the Lord; my students are very happy when they listen to the Proclaimer in South Bolivian Quechua.”
We are grateful to churches like Levi Baptist Church (Booneville, KY), Living Water Chapel (Yucca Valley, CA), Jasper Bible Church (Jasper, TX), Chatham Christian Church (Chatham, IL), Victory Christian Center (Tulsa, OK), and many others for making God’s Word available in Bolivia and around the world, calling prodigals back to the Lord.